Locals, Politicians React to Pole in Middle of New Somerville Bike Lane - NECN
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Locals, Politicians React to Pole in Middle of New Somerville Bike Lane

The Mass. Department of Transportation sad it is actively looking into the situation and is seeking long-term solutions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Utility Pole Blocking New Somerville Bike Lane

    An unusual obstacle in a new bike lane is raising eyebrows in Somerville.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019)

    A new bike lane in Somerville, Massachusetts, has an odd, potentially dangerous impediment: a utility pole.

    The uproar over the pole’s location began on Sunday, when a local cyclist posted a picture of the pole on a Facebook page, according to a Boston Globe report. That sparked others to chime in with their thoughts.

    "This pole shouldn't be here. It should be about two feet to the right," said Somerville City Councilor J.T. Scott. "As you go down the street, you'll see that most of these poles were moved in an effort that started in 2018. I'm still trying to find out why this one wasn't."

    In 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation began a major reconstruction project in Somerville. One key part of the plan was to create a new bike lane on Beacon Street to improve bicycle safety, according to the City of Somerville’s website.

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    MassDOT is looking into the situation and "potential long-term options for the utility pole," a spokesman said Monday, according to the Globe report. The spokesman gave no timetable for the removal of the pole.

    Several city officials have now come out in favor of moving the pole. The mayor's office stressed that the project is a state project, but said the mayor is urging for responsible parties to "remedy the situation," the Globe reports.

    "I think it shows a lack of oversight," Scott said.

    Officials marked the pole off with cones and caution tape Tuesday to guide bikers away from the dangerous roadblock while discussions on what to do about it continue.

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