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The Boston Globe


Arlington voters want to keep Mass Ave. as is

Arlington voters narrowly approved a nonbinding measure in Saturday’s town election that favors keeping four lanes of vehicular traffic on Massachusetts Avenue, though one of the measure’s biggest proponents was defeated in her bid for a selectman’s seat.

The vote was 4,334 to 4,097 in favor of Question 1, which calls for keeping the road’s current configuration and blocks recent efforts by the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition to remove one vehicular lane along a mile-long stretch in East Arlington and replace it with bicycle lanes on both sides.

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The successful measure was backed by Maria Romano, who lost to incumbent Selectman Kevin F. Greeley, 4,626 to 3,355.

“Keep four lanes in Mass Ave. and let the bikes share the road,” Romano, who represents the Concerned Citizens Committee, said after the final precincts reported Saturday. “They have no idea what’s going to happen when they eliminate one lane. I will continue to fight as a Town Meeting member.”

An acceptable plan to overhaul Massachusetts Avenue, according to Romano, needed to consider emergency response and the traffic impact of going down to three lanes.

Voters approved a nonbinding measure that calls for keeping the road at four lanes. Advocates wanted to replace a lane with bicycle lanes on both sides.

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In other votes, School Committee incumbents Kirsi C. Allison-Ampe and Judson L. Pierce were reelected to three-year terms, and Paul Schlichtman, who ran unopposed, will fill a one-year term.

Dana Hatic can be reached at

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