No timeframe for Arborway crosswalk upgrade

ARBORWAY—A local resident is complaining about the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) taking its time making upgrades to a crosswalk on the Arborway.

Meanwhile, DCR said those upgrades will happen “shortly,” but had no timeframe for when they would happen.

The crosswalk in question is on the state-operated Arborway near the Arnold Arboretum. That stretch of the Arborway is known for high-speed car crashes, with the most recent one happening on Oct. 13.

DCR held a meeting in May about improving the crosswalk with such features as new signage.

“Now that nearly five months have passed since the public meeting about the dangerous Arborway crossing, and more time since the DCR made public its findings that the crossing is indeed dangerous and needs to be improved. I would like to know why nothing has been done to fix it,” said Jamaica Plain resident Patrick Barron in an email.

He said that DCR could easily put up a temporary warning sign in the middle of the road until the project starts and that “doing nothing puts the DCR at significant risk (due to negligence) of a lawsuit if someone is injured.”

Bill Hickey, spokesperson for DCR, said the final design for the improvement project was recently finalized and that “the work at the crossing at the Arboretum will be moving into the construction phase shortly, and DCR will keep the public and stakeholders informed when it does.” When asked if DCR has a timeframe for the start and end of construction, Hickey replied, “Not currently.”

He said that the improvements to the crosswalk include “repaving the roadway, adding in new pedestrian markers and signals, and relocating the fencing that is along the crossing by moving it back a couple of feet, which will improve the sightlines for both pedestrians crossing and commuters who travel along that roadway.”

A car sits upside down on the Arborway, south of the crosswalk area, after an Oct. 13 accident. (Photo by Sarah Freeman)

A car sits upside down on the Arborway, south of the crosswalk area, after an Oct. 13 accident. (Photo by Sarah Freeman)

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