Hive Roundup #17: Town Meeting and School Forum
Plus, general updates about Route 3A repaving, Mall Road rezoning collaboration, and more
I have a few general updates today, so I figured I’d combine them with a Roundup. I know the last Roundup went to everyone (not just paying Hive members like it’s supposed to)—blame vacation brain. This one is half-and-half. If you enjoyed the last Roundup, or if you just appreciate the work I do to bring you no-cost news about local government and current events, I hope you’ll consider joining the Hive for $60/year.
Route 3A Repaving Project
Remember the project community members were so anxious about last fall? The state was going to repave Route 3A (Cambridge Street) from Cook Street in Billerica to BHS. They were going to clarify the lane markings, make some dedicated bike lanes, and make other improvements to crosswalks and signals. Many residents attended the forum hosted by the state, contacted various town departments, and took to social media to voice their concerns. It sounded like it was a done deal. The project was supposed to start this spring (aka, right around now).
One concern was the fact that a portion of the traffic study was done during the pandemic, and so the state conducted another traffic study. They had tubes out for several days (maybe up to a week, but at this point I can’t remember), and then we haven’t heard anything about the project since then. I’ve been checking in periodically with the town, and this week Town Administrator, Paul Sagarino, sent me this message from the state:
On November 17, 2022, MassDOT hosted a Project Information Meeting to discuss MassDOT project 610704 – Route 3A Resurfacing and Related Work in Burlington and Billerica. During this meeting, MassDOT presented the project design to the public and solicited public comment and feedback. In the meeting, and in subsequent correspondence, many members of the public expressed support or concern for the project. One of the primary concerns expressed was regarding the traffic, and fear of additional congestion. Residents of Burlington expressed concern that traffic had significantly increased since the initial traffic study which includes volumes from 2021. Since the public information meeting, MassDOT has performed additional traffic counts, and conducted additional traffic modeling to forecast future volumes. MassDOT will hold a follow-up public meeting to discuss its findings and present any revisions resulting from the additional analysis. This date has not yet been set, as analysis is still ongoing. MassDOT is taking the expressed concerns seriously and will specifically address them in the subsequent meeting.
So. There is no information yet. But there will be another meeting. We just don’t know when.
Mall Road Rezoning Project Community Design Workshop Next Week, Occurring in Three Parts
Hopefully you’ve read about this forum, either here or somewhere else. What I haven’t done a great job of doing, though, is explaining that there are three different parts and you don’t have to be involved in all three of them in order to contribute to the project.
Site Tour, May 23, 3:00-5:00 PM
Join us as we take a (driving) tour of the Mall Road Corridor area to visit keys sites and discuss what is working what is not. This is to get a feel for the area and take note of things you might not see while simply looking at a map. Register here.
Listening Workshop, May 23, 6:30-8:30 PM
The Open House Night offers the public an overview of the Mall Road Rezoning initiative and an opportunity to provide input on the future. Here is where you can hear some of the design firm’s and town’s ideas for the space and provide your input. Register here.
Visioning Workshop, May 23, 5:00-8:00 PM
The public vision workshop will review input from the night's previous Open House Night and review development examples and case studies from other places. We will organize into groups to discuss what the long-term vision for the district should be, how to react to changing needs, and build social, economic, and environmental resilience. Register here.
I hope you are able to attend one or more of these sessions, as a diverse set of inputs will be very beneficial to this process.
The Community Yard Sale is from 9-2 today! Consult the map below to learn more.
The Community Health Fair is today from 10-1!
That’s it for the updates; read on (or become a Hive member and then read on) for the Hive Roundup!