by eila in Accessibility, Development and Zoning, Neighborhoods and Squares, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Seniors, Traffic & Parking, Transportation, Transportation Projects, Union Square, Ward 2, Ward 3
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm
Last Modified on August 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm
Considering how the Somerville Avenue Reconstruction Project has been implemented between May 2007 and now, it’s amazing how muffled the outcry has been from businesses and pedestrians along this route.
On April 23, 2007, the mayor held a public meeting at the Somerville High School to roll out the Somerville Avenue Street Reconstruction Project.
When folks asked, “How will pedestrian access be maintained throughout the Project?,” mayor Curtatone said to the crowd: “Pedestrian access is among my highest priorities.”
The City’s stated minimum requirements included maintaining pedestrian access (page 13 of 97078 Presentation 4-23-07.pdf). Responsible parties collaborating on these efforts were named as: City of Somerville, Somerville Ave. Advisory Committee, MA Highway Department, P. Gioioso and Sons, Inc. and Design Consultants, Inc.
“Somerville Avenue is not only a major artery for the city but also the gateway to the entire Union Square development district,” said Curtatone, in an earlier press release.
Here’s that gateway, weekend of August 6 – 8, 2010:
here’s that gateway, a week earlier:
here’s that Gateway in Summer, 2009:
In 2008, the city’s designated ADA Coordinator responded to 18 complaints regarding lack of pedestrian safety and access along Somerville Ave during construction as follows (12/29/08 communication to State):
“The City of Somerville has worked very closely with Mass Highway to ensure that access along Somerville Avenue has been maintained… The next phase is scheduled for the spring  beginning with full sidewalk reconstruction which will elevate all of these issues…”
State regulations (521 CMR 3.10) require that a temporary accessible route always be provided around construction sites. Federal regulations state the same requirement.
Three years after the Somerville Avenue Reconstruction Project began, Union Square businesses are still hindered by lack of thoughtful pedestrian planning during construction; and Union Square residents, visitors and workers are still unable to walk these streets with confidence and comfort.