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Report: Waltham Traffic Improvements Needed. Do You Agree?

How would prove Waltham's traffic situation?

Traffic is a fact of life if you live in a city like Waltham. 

However, it is safe to say Waltham has a traffic problem. 

A new report by the Waltham League of Women Voters details the problems and possible ways to improve the traffic situation.

The report, called "Waltham Visions," details residents' view of various issues such as the schools, traffic and business. 

The report, which was compiled by surveying residents, notes several possible ways to improve traffic, but does not make a specific suggestion. Residents, however, say they want to see more public transportation, walking and biking in Waltham, according to the report.

"The respondents think that traffic is difficult, and that there are opportunities for improvement. They would like for the streets to be more bicycle friendly, although they think the streets are walkable," the report states.

Do you agree with the ideas? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Tim H January 18, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Analysis done by Bentley (http://moodystreetresearch.org/) mentions that lack of parking is a concern on Moody St while the municipal lots don't appear to be full. People unfamiliar with Waltham might tend to use a GPS on their smartphones or cars to find these, yet I found they were not identified in digital maps. I’ve sent requests to Google Maps and Navteq (most car GPS) to update the maps with Waltham municipal parking. Google Maps is already in the process of updating these but it might still take a month or so. Navteq is notoriously slow at updating these so I don’t know when it will happen. (I’ve had Navteq requests for Waltham stuff waiting to be processed for over two years while other town requests get processed.) When these updates roll out, it might help reduce traffic in that area as people can use their GPS to help them find the lots rather than just relying on driving around looking for signs for parking.
Donna Hughes January 19, 2014 at 03:56 PM
make right lanes for right turn only would help a lot....Trapelo & Lexington Street......
Neil Gutman January 19, 2014 at 07:35 PM
Many issues, where to begin? At its core, the town leaders need to decide if this is a "destination town" or a "drive-through town". That is, do we want people coming here or merely driving through on their way elsewhere. Determine this, and strategize accordingly. Currently we are the second option. Most traffic is using Waltham as a shortcut to somewhere else. This is bad on many levels, clogging up our roads with unwanted traffic, shortcutting drivers going too quickly along residential roads, little economic benefit, and more congestion. Additional parking (not street level but multistorey complexes) is obviously a way to move us into the destination town category, but this should be coupled with eliminating some of the highway access points. Those should be for Waltham residents seeking access to a highway, or people coming to Waltham to work and shop. They should not be available for people looking to cut across Waltham to somewhere else. Another related item... the pedestrian traffic signals don't really work. Compare them to Cambridge, in which you push a button and 15 seconds later the traffic has come to a stop. Here you push a button and wait a couple of cycles, several minutes sometimes. As it is unresponsive, it leads to many more people running across traffic, jaywalking, and stopping traffic's right-of-way. So pedestrians become a problem for traffic because the pedestrian signals are not reliable, responsive, or timely; we need them to work properly, and we need more of them. Yes, MORE pedestrian crossings will slow traffic. GOOD. Enough of these shortcutters might get the point that it takes too long to cut through Waltham and will look elsewhere. The priority must always be first with pedestrians. Vehicles (or which I include bikes) are generally a luxury item, and at Waltham levels of congestion have a detrimental effect on quality of life, health, and property value. A town is made of its people, and their quality of life should be the first consideration for improvement. After that, traffic flow and how to constrain and guide it should be addressed. One final note about quality of life... who are the childish men with the loud motorcycles that every year pop them into low-gear to seek attention by drifting noisily through town? I think they live in the Riverview Ave. area. Feckless and anti-social men displaying the results of a clear lack of attention as children and an inability to be considerate or good neighbors as grown-ups. I wish we had some sound limit statutes for this unnecessary noise along with the excessively loud stereos blasted by other anti-social attention-needy men. Stiff fines, increasing with each offense... all good money to help pay for Waltham's road infrastructure.
Tim H January 21, 2014 at 08:13 AM
BIKE: For those interested in proposed bike trails, you might want to check this (short url) link to MassGIS map with an overlay for bike trails: http://goo.gl/yH01jD It's interesting that the considered trail will go near the Polaroid construction site.
Tim H January 21, 2014 at 09:07 AM
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: I noticed some interest in improving it for college students to get around Waltham. In the Bentley research for Moody St (http://moodystreetresearch.org/), it is mentioned that Brandeis provides a shuttle service for their students. I'd like to recommend a city wide service that helps students in both colleges plus non-students get around Waltham using the MBTA instead of dedicated shuttles. The main reason is to include smart phone support to make it easier to discover the best route to get to a destination (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUR08cdIhTQ). The example is the video is for smart phones, but computers and tablets connected to the web can do it as well. College age students are more likely to rely on these devices for guidance, so let's take advantage of that to help them discover what is available in this town.

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