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Feds request another Mass. Ave. hearing

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At the request of the Federal Highway Administration, the state Department of Transportation has called for a second public hearing on the proposed reconstruction of Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington. The session, scheduled for Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall, will highlight changes to the project since a hearing in April 2011, when the design had reached about 25 percent completion. Last March, town officials announced they had decided not to reduce the number of vehicle lanes from two to one on the eastbound side of the avenue between Pond Lane and Linwood Street. The $5.8 million reconfiguration plan for Massachusetts Avenue along a 1-mile stretch in East Arlington called for reducing the number of vehicle lanes, mostly on the westbound side of the avenue, in order to install bicycle lanes on each side of the roadway. Sidewalks and other improvements for pedestrians are also included in the project. Opponents to the proposed reconfiguration have gathered enough signatures to place a nonbinding referendum on the April 6 town election ballot asking whether the roadway should remain as it is.

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