Alewife Study Group > government > Oct. 4 2000, MEPA EOEA community feedback Search 

Mugar Development in East Arlington

comments by a member of the Alewife Study Group

(also see an alert, from The East Arlington Good Neighbor Committee, on this topic)

Daniel Kamman
(number omitted) Harvey Street
Cambridge MA 02140
October 4, 2000

Robert Durand, Secretary
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
251 Causeway Street, Suite 900 Boston, MA 02114
Attn: MEPA Office, Laura Rome, EOEA File #12307

cc:
Alan McLennan, Chief Planner, Arlington Town Hall
and
George Laite of the East Arlington Good Neighbor Committee

Please follow the complete Environmental Impact Report process, including a draft report and an opportunity for additional public comment. at an evening public meeting in Arlington.

Below are my comments on the Arlington Mugar Parcel Environmental Notification Form, August 31, 2000.

Summary of my major points

Why I am interested in the Mugar Parcel
  • I live in North Cambridge, a few blocks from the Arlington-Cambridge line at Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Driving near Route 2/Alewife Brook Parkway, I struggle through congested - and often ill-mannered - traffic.
  • I want to preserve Alewife wetlands.


  • Traffic growth rate projection by Rizzo Associates is based on data that is inappropriate and, therefore, misleading (as well as being both incorrectly referenced and difficult to find)
    Traffic growth rate projection (quoted from the ENF - Appendix C, page 12, 3.1 Growth Rate)
    "…count station #4798 located on Route 2 West of Pleasant Street in Lexington, the annual growth rate between 1995 and 1998 was approximately 1.4 percent per year (see Appendix C). The limited count data obtained from MassHighway count station #4130, located on Route 2 in Arlington at the Lexington town line, indicates an average yearly growth rate of approximately 2.6 percent per year between 1991 and 1998. Averaging these two rates yields an annual growth rate of approximately two percent. The two-percent annual growth rate was applied to the existing traffic volume networks as a first step in developing the 2005 No-Build traffic volumes."

    Data used for traffic growth rate projection (quoted from the ENF)

    From Appendix C of Appendix C, on the page labeled (at top) Section III Traffic Volumes by City/Town and (at bottom) page 44 of 95 is this average daily traffic
    data for #4798 (on Route 2 West of Pleasant Street in Lexington)
    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
      127,000 107,000     70,300 69,749 71,730 74,265 74,335
    From Appendix C of Appendix C, on the page labeled (at top) Section III Traffic Volumes by City/Town and (at bottom) page 5 of 95 is this average daily traffic
    data for #4130 (on Route 2 in Arlington at the Lexington town line)
    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
      64,340     67,000     70,500 75,900  

    Why the data used is inappropriate:
    one of the locations is not near the Mugar property

    Why the data used is misleading:
    the appropriate growth rate is 30% higher than the growth rate used in the ENF

    The public needs new traffic projections based on the appropriate data.

    Why the data used is incorrectly referenced:
    the referenced year range is "between 1995 and 1998",
    although the year range of the data used is actually "between 1995 and 1999"

    Why the data used is difficult to find:
    reference is to Appendix C, even though the sentence that does the referencing is in Appendix C
    From Appendix C, page 12, 3.1 Growth Rate
    "…count station #4798 located on Route 2 West of Pleasant Street in Lexington, the annual growth rate between 1995 and 1998 was approximately 1.4 percent per year (see Appendix C)..."
    Since

    the direction "see Appendix C" is useless until the user figures out that the reference is to Appendix C of Appendix C (a labeling method that, to me, is unconventional and confusing).

    Inadequate (incomplete, insufficiently detailed) answer on shading/shadow
    Section

    Wetlands, Waterways, and Tidelands Section - II Wetlands Impacts and Permits - E
    Question (on page 8)
    "Describe the project's other impacts on wetlands (including new shading of wetland areas or removal of tree canopy from forested wetlands)"
    Answer (on page 8)
    The proposed buildings may have shadow impacts to the wetland resources on the project site

    Why the answer is inadequate (incomplete, insufficiently detailed): the answer mentions, but does not describe, the impact of new shading The public needs a detailed description of shading/shadow impacts.


    Contact the Alewife Study Group, North Cambridge Massachusetts, by email at information@alewife.org