Friday, October 16, 2015

Wait Until Next Year

Simple Gifts Farm, aka North Amherst Community Farm.  Pine Street on right

What some neighbors have dubbed "The Forever Project" -- the Pine Street renovation -- a major east/west thoroughfare just north of UMass, our #1 employer, continues to live up to the name.

The $4 million project will not be totally completed by Thanksgiving the drop dead date for construction projects because asphalt plants close for the season.

Since tax money (both Agricultural Preservation Restriction and Community Preservation Act) assisted in purchasing/preserving the North Amherst Community Farm it took a little longer to get permission to intrude on their land for the sidewalk and crosswalk construction.

By the time permission was obtained the squash had already been planted so now the construction project will have to wait until next year.  Don't want to mess with a farmer's squash crop.

The road itself, however, will be completed by first snowfall.

Another project that is starting to join the realm of forever projects is the intersection of Triangle/East Pleasant at the up and coming north end of downtown.

Guilford Mooring out of the hot seat at last night's PWC meeting

Last night the Public Works Committee discussed the item (along with a bevy of concerned neighbors) for the 8th time over the past 1.5 years.

Intersection of Triangle and East Pleasant Streets will go the way of roundabout

The Committee continues to wholeheartedly support the idea of a roundabout but have not yet seen a detailed enough plan to vote on it.  Neighbors have continually expressed concern about pedestrian/bicycle safety and the town losing its "small town character" via a roundabout.

The Public Works Committee will, probably, vote in favor of the project at their next meeting in November.  The PWC is only an advisory committee appointed by the Select Board, who has final say over "the public way."

Click to enlarge/read
 7/10/14 vote was taken before the town acquired $1.5 million state grant for construction work near the intersection


Kevin said...

Let us not forget that it was John Musante who explained that Amherst was turned down, twice, for state funding (i.e. your state income taxes) for Pine St because Town Meeting failed to pass "Smart Zoning" under MGL 42R. The construction delay is on account of the two extra years it took for make a bond issue to pay for Pine St. That is $4 million out of local services. Before you get all glib and blasé about how long it takes our town employees to finish a road (that they never should have had to build in the first place), don't forget what John Musante had to do to get that road for you, including getting turned down (twice) by the state, and, then, having to raise an extra $4 million out of nowhere. Thank you Amherst Town Meeting for the Pine St debacle, you are obviously the smartest people in the world.

Anonymous said...

Another good reason for a new charter. The U.S. Congress has nothing on Town Meeting when it comes to obstructionism and gridlock.

Anonymous said...

Normally a roundabout makes sense, as it's goal is to keep traffic moving, but this is a high foot traffic area.

DaveMB said...

Anon 9:37 -- the Eastman Drive and North Pleasant intersection is also
a high foot traffic area, and the roundabout there works great. Why would
Triangle/E. Pleasant be different?

Larry Kelley said...

That's exactly what PWC Chair Christine Gray-Mullen keeps pointing out.

Anonymous said...

Because there will be far more traffic entering from different directions.

Anonymous said...

Proper lighting in this area will be critical. I think that PWC and DPW are working on a comprehensive lighting design to light the sidewalks and crosswalks with a minimum of glare.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you're getting desperate with these advertisements that take over your screen. Stop it, please.

Larry Kelley said...

It's not on my end. Does it happen just with me or some other sites as well?

I have a hard time believing somebody hacked Google (who owns Blogger).

Anonymous said...

There are other blogs?

Larry Kelley said...

A few million on Blogger.

And their trouble page does not mention being hacked.

What is the ad for? (Dare I ask)

Anonymous said...

I've never had any pop up ads from your blog.

Anonymous said...

The good news about Pine Street is that the improvements, to date, are reaping huge rewards for those who live there. Take a drive (or better yet a walk on the existing sidewalks!) and see for yourself. There are bikers, walkers, parents with kids in strollers, students heading to bus stops, etc., all out and about on that lovely, long stretch of road--whereas before you would be literally taking your life in your hands to do so. Kudos to John Musante, the Select Board, and the Public Works Department and Committee for putting so much work into this.

I agree with Kevin that it is unfortunate that Town Meeting's decision to vote down "Smart Zoning" in North Amherst resulted in such delays and loss of funding for this project. Development IS happening in North Amherst, despite Town Meeting's attempt to squash it. Too bad we aren't able to reap the rewards from the State related to the development taking place.

Another reason to sign the petition to get a Charter Vote article on the election ballot! Town Meeting is playing with YOUR tax dollars every time they meet. Shouldn't those in "charge" of the direction of the town have more accountability to the tax payers? Right now there is NONE!