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Vol. 20, No. 16
Published Every Friday
Friday, April 21, 2017
Meet the MHS Girls Varsity LAX Team
See Page 16
St. Joseph’s Catholic
Church hosts Annual
Easter Egg Hunt
See Page 3
Committee calls for a complete solution
for Fellsway intersection
By Barbara Taormina
he Traffic Committee is hop-
ing to convince state offi-
cials to scrap plans to reduce
Fellsway East to one traffic lane
in favor of a more comprehen-
sive roadway redesign that will
increase safety at the Highland
Avenue intersection.
After years of crashes, com-
plaints, public meetings and a
$30,000 traffic study, the De-
partment of Conservation and
Recreation (DCR) hopes tomove
forward with a short-term so-
lution for the treacherous in-
tersection at Fellsway East and
Highland Avenue. DCR plans to
narrow the Fellsway to one lane
and create bicycle lanes in the
hope of slowing traffic and en-
couraging drivers to seek oth-
er routes.
DCRalsodeveloped two long-
term redesigns for the intersec-
tion: one that calls for traffic sig-
nals and another that incorpo-
rates a traditional traffic circle.
But for now, the focus is on the
quick fix of a narrower roadway.
Ward 3 Counci l lor John
Matheson, who heads up the
Traffic Committee, said fund-
ing might be driving the deci-
sions. The short-termsolutionof
a one-lane Fellsway is estimated
to cost about $50,000 while the
other two designs will cost be-
tween $500,000 and $1 million.
Matheson, other council-
lors and residents who live in
the neighborhood worry the
one-lane solution will create
new safety hazards for driv-
ers and cyclists and cause traf-
fic to back up along the Fells-
way. And they worry that the
short-term plan will become
the state’s permanent answer
to the problem. “I would like to
see some commitment to the
long-term alternatives,” said
Matheson. “I heard one person
quip that it could take years for
that to happen.”
Matheson and other Ward 3
residents say theDCRnever pro-
posed a one-lane solution dur-
ing their publicmeetings on the
intersection. But Ward 4 Coun-
cillor Ryan O’Malley, who is also
on the Traffic Committee, said
it was presented as an option.
“DCR screws up a lot of stuff but
I think this was handled correct-
ly,” said O’Malley.
While O’Malley said he initial-
ly opposed narrowing the road-
way to make room for a bike
lane, he nowbelieves it will help
slowdowndrivers andcalmtraf-
fic at the intersections. And he’s
not in favor of holding more
meetings to debate the merits
of the plan.“I don’t think itmake
sense to hold up improvements
and I think these are improve-
ments,” he said.
Matheson said the DCR plan
has support because it is aligned
with the state’s broader commit-
ment to Complete Streets, a na-
tionwide movement that aims
to make roads safe and acces-
sible for all travelers, including
pedestrians, cyclists, passen-
gers on public transportation
and drivers. Malden adopted a
Complete Streets policy last fall.
Still, Matheson and Council-
lor-at-Large David D’Arcangelo,
who is also a member of the
Traffic Committee, want anoth-
er publicmeetingwith stateoffi-
cials to review the plan that they
say fails to address the danger-
ous aspects of the intersection.
While they acknowledge the full
redesigns will require a lotmore
funding, they feel the city needs
to keep pushing for a complete
overhaul of the intersection.“It’s
a lot more cost, but it’s the right
answer,” said D’Arcangelo.
No Rush: Councillor Kinnon proposes
extending the building moratorium
By Barbara Taormina
he city is considering a sec-
ond six-month extension on
the moratorium on new mul-
tifamily building projects. The
Ordinance Committee will re-
viewWard 6 Councillor Neil Kin-
non’s proposal to extend the
building freeze to give city of-
ficials more time to review the
recent growth study and sur-
vey, and to craft possible zon-
ing changes.
“I am suggesting that we go
another six months,” said Kin-
non, adding that the City Coun-
cil will soon be busy working
on next year’s city budget. The
Planning Board and the Ordi-
nance Committee will work to-
gether to develop any changes
in landuse regulations, andKin-
non said they, and other city of-
ficials, need more time.
“When you rush, you make
mistakes,” he said.
Malden voters approved a
one-year construction morato-
riumon newmultifamily devel-
opments in November 2015, to
give the city time to assess res-
idential and economic growth,
and to plan for the future. Com-
munity Opportunities Group
was hired to conduct a Growth
Management Study.
Late last year, the council ex-
tended the moratorium for six
months to give the consultants
time to complete the study.
Roberta Cameron, a planner
at Community Opportunities
Group, outlined some key find-
ing for the council this week, in-
cluding the community’swidely
felt sentiment that future large-
scale residential developments
should be limited.
Malden isn’t alone inwanting
to rein in residential develop-
ment. Earlier this year, the
reported that growth
had slowed significantly in 29
cities and towns around Bos-
ton. According to the report, the
number of units in approved
multifamily building projects
in those communities dropped
53 percent, from 2,433 in 2015
to an estimated 1,154 last year.
Whi le residents of those
towns are raising concerns
about density, traffic and over-
crowding in local schools, the
Metropolitan Area Planning
Council is promoting residen-
tial growth, particularly smart,
transit-orientated growth, in
and around Boston, to provide
housing for the area’s growing
Malden already has plenty of
large apartment complexes up
and renting with several more
in the pipeline. The city is now
looking for balance between
growth and maintaining its
characteristic neighborhoods
Vincent and Gabriella Lopez Spartichino are all smiles with
full basketsduring St. Joseph’sCatholicChurch’sAnnual Eas-
ter Egg Hunt last Sunday. See more photo highlights from
the event on page 15.
(Advocate photos by Ross Scabin)