By Sue Ellen Woodcock
MassDOT held a public hearing last Wednesday night and outlined the street work that will be done in the area of the Garfield School to make walking and biking safer for students.
As part of its Safe Routes to School program, MassDOT will be embarking on a $1.3 million project to fix sidewalks, crosswalks, signals and more. Funding and oversight comes from the Federal Highway Administration.
Construction is expected the begin in the spring of 2018 and end in the fall of 2018. The following streets will be effected the following streets: North Shore Road (which is owned by the state) Garfield Avenue, Blake, Dix, Dana and Centennial Avenues. Students and other pedestrians will also experience pedestrian detours, with police details, and accommodations for bicyclists.
Arthur Bonney, of Toole Engineering, explained that in May 2012 the Garfield School officials requested a study. Preliminary concept designs were done first and they were available for review in December 2016.
“We want to create a safe pedestrian environment,” Bonney said.
Albert Miller, the project manager with MassDOT, said plans are not complete and the public hearing was to solicit input.
“The ultimate goal is to stop people from driving (to the school),” Miller said. “We’re trying to enhance the area so kids will walk more.”
The project will address skewed pedestrian crossings, the lack of wheelchair (ADA compliant) ramps and areas of the sidewalk that making parking on the sidewalk easy.
The scope of the project will include reconstructing sidewalks with granite curbs, ramps. crosswalks and pedestrian signals. The traffic on Blake Street will also be re-directed to flow westbound in the opposite direction that it does now.
“There will also be new drainage connections and new street trees planted,” Bonney said. “Blake Street will be a permanent change for safety reasons so the crossing guard only has to look in one direction.”
The Blake Street change has already been approved by the Revere Traffic Commission. As part of the project a number of easements, 12 permanent easements and 48 temporary easements are planned.
People wishing to register a public comment about the project can contact MassDOT at [email protected]