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Arlington

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If you're into road diets, Reading is worth a visit.
The three lane setup works really well. So much safer feeling than old setup. Sadly the town has kept their 4-lane setup through the center of town.

If you were planning on a bike tour on the new shoulder-as-bike-lane, hold off on that until they've re-oriented the catch base grates to the "rumble strip" orientation and and not the "tire trap" orientation.

The MassDOT District 4 team was actually very responsive* when I reached out to ask them to check all the grates. It will get discussed at their staff meeting tomorrow (Thursday Sep 24) and hopefully the crews will fix them all before the weekend. But this is the orientation of a grate in the shoulder at 301 Main St:

storm-grate-traps-bike-tires.PNG


* But, so you know, that means:
  1. Call MassDOT District 4
  2. Transfer to the COmmunications officer
  3. Comms officer knows nothing of the Road Diet, but suggests I call Construction Liason
  4. Construction Liason referrs me to Engineering (construction managment)
  5. Cellphone of Engineering guy gets me to exactly the right guy
 
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Arlington

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Sweet response from the MassDOT team on this. Like so good, you'd have these guys running COVID response:
The contractor has found roughly 11 catch basins that have existing bar grates with an orientation parallel with the roadway. These grates are scheduled be changed out to a cascade type, but not until next year when we pave the surface course. In the interim, the contactor will adjust each grate so they are now perpendicular to the roadway. All grates in question should be addressed by tomorrow afternoon. Any other questions/concerns in regards to this matter – let me know.
Bonus GEEK OUT: Had to google "Cascade type catch basin grate" and found:
1600969629096.jpeg


Which is not merely "checkerboard" but also "things fall through on an angle"
MA, ME, NH & VT Standard Catch Basin, Cascade Catch Basin Frame & Grate
 
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North Shore

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Sweet response from the MassDOT team on this. Like so good, you'd have these guys running COVID response:


Bonus GEEK OUT: Had to google "Cascade type catch basin grate" and found:
View attachment 7311

Which is not merely "checkerboard" but also "things fall through on an angle"
MA, ME, NH & VT Standard Catch Basin, Cascade Catch Basin Frame & Grate
Yep. You kinda beat me to this.

Any work on State highway that includes touch existing drainage structures requires replacement of catch basin grates with not only cascade-type grates, but also with tumbler-style locks.



These are manufactured by EJ Co. The vast majority of state projects use this model.
 

Arlington

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not only cascade-type grates, but also with tumbler-style locks.
Q1) How is this style better than checkerboard?
Guesses:
  • Is the idea that somebody's cane (or car keys? or cell phone) is less likely to drop straight in?
  • Does it actually improve drainage to let leaves "slide rampwise" instead of being "hung up" on straight bars?
Q2) And is the tumbler lock there to keep it from being stolen for scrap?
Guess: Yes, you never know how much highway equipment gets stolen and used as "filler" in by-the-pickup scrapping through the scrap yards of chelsea?
 

North Shore

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Q1) How is this style better than checkerboard?
Guesses:
  • Is the idea that somebody's cane (or car keys? or cell phone) is less likely to drop straight in?
  • Does it actually improve drainage to let leaves "slide rampwise" instead of being "hung up" on straight bars?
Q2) And is the tumbler lock there to keep it from being stolen for scrap?
Guess: Yes, you never know how much highway equipment gets stolen and used as "filler" in by-the-pickup scrapping through the scrap yards of chelsea?
The cascade grates (as compared to the "checkerboard" type) allow for significantly better drainage flow. But they must be properly installed and oriented in the direction of the flow to achieve this. Municipalities are allowed to use the checkerboard type if they like.

The tumbler locks aren't there for security as much as they are there to prevent them from possibly being sucked up or removed by passing vehicles. Remember when there was a spate of accidents where castings were picked up and smashed into traveling vehicles? This was in response to that.

MassDOT issued an Engineering Directive relative to this back in 2009:

 
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shmessy

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Sweet response from the MassDOT team on this. Like so good, you'd have these guys running COVID response:


Bonus GEEK OUT: Had to google "Cascade type catch basin grate" and found:
View attachment 7311

Which is not merely "checkerboard" but also "things fall through on an angle"
MA, ME, NH & VT Standard Catch Basin, Cascade Catch Basin Frame & Grate

In this day and age........big respect and a tip of the cap to the MassDOT personnel who responded like that. Hearing about that type of attitude gives me optimism!
 

Arlington

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I am going to write my State Rep, the State Rep for Reading (anyone happen to know?) and Mass DOT leadership and let them know how happy I am.

DM me if you have emails for anyone else whom I should share my praise for the dot staff.
 

roy_mustang76

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I am going to write my State Rep, the State Rep for Reading (anyone happen to know?) and Mass DOT leadership and let them know how happy I am.

DM me if you have emails for anyone else whom I should share my praise for the dot staff.
Reading is split in the Legislature. For the grate you posted (over by Bagel World), you're looking at Jason Lewis for State Senator, and Rich Haggerty for State Rep. The northern part of town, along with North Reading and Lynnfield, has Bradley Jones as linked by @shmessy

Worth giving all three a shout!
 

Arlington

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I wrote today to Reps Jones, Haggerty and Garballey (mine), and a second letter to Sens. Lewis & Jehlen (mine)
[UPDATE] For the record, Sen Lewis was fastest with the response. Seems to have fine email triage system.
 
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DrFreewind

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I drove down 28 through Milton today, and there were markings on the road that looks like the section of 28 on Brook Rd is going to be getting a road diet from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a bike lane in each direction with a pretty wide buffer.

 

Codman89

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I drove down 28 through Milton today, and there were markings on the road that looks like the section of 28 on Brook Rd is going to be getting a road diet from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a bike lane in each direction with a pretty wide buffer.

Yup! The Town received one of MassDOT's Shared Streets and Spaces Grants in September, which indicates that the lanes will be protected, not just buffered. The Town's website has a little more info, but no plans: https://www.townofmilton.org/engineering-department/pages/2020-construction-projects

Very interested to see how this turns out, as I ride down this way quite a bit. It's a pity Mattapan Square is so difficult to ride through. There's been good movement on bike lane & bike path projects on both sides of the river - sooner or later we're going to need a better connection across the Neponset.
 

North Shore

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Yup! The Town received one of MassDOT's Shared Streets and Spaces Grants in September, which indicates that the lanes will be protected, not just buffered. The Town's website has a little more info, but no plans: https://www.townofmilton.org/engineering-department/pages/2020-construction-projects

Very interested to see how this turns out, as I ride down this way quite a bit. It's a pity Mattapan Square is so difficult to ride through. There's been good movement on bike lane & bike path projects on both sides of the river - sooner or later we're going to need a better connection across the Neponset.
Project plans are here:

 

F-Line to Dudley

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Reading considering big traffic flow changes around Downtown to encourage more connectivity to the train station from outlying neighborhoods and fix some longstanding problems in Downtown-proper.
  • Traffic calming of the lane sprawl at the 128 Quannapowitt exit.
  • Realigning Ash St. (finally!!!) to get rid of the 3-way intersection clusterfuck with MA 28 and the Mall driveway that sits directly atop 2 busy RR grade crossings. Land-taking of Jiffy Lube + Burger King and possible traffic-calming roundabout installed. This intersection has one of the highest accident rates in the inner 'burbs because of the queue anarchy.
  • Better-spaced Mall access (roundabout on North St.), separation of Ash/28 intersection from Bolton St./Mall driveway.
  • Bike lanes through Downtown on 28.
  • (possible) Bike lanes on Washington (shared roadway) and Walkers Brook + North (partial lane sep).
  • Better turn lane dilineations (in service of reduced accident rates)
 

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