At the last Transportation Commission meeting, Public Works staff presented the SMART Corridor project for Webster Street. The interesting thing about this is that even though it will be adding physical street furniture to the Webster Street area, the SMART Corridor project for Webster Street won’t be coming before any of the public bodies — most specifically the Planning Board — for design review or something similar.
Given the uproar over the Park Street Streetscape project where trees were felled left and right based on a plan that had gone through the public approval process a long time ago, I think this failure of Public Works to attempt to vet some of these massive signs through the community first, feels like we are heading down the road to a Park Street tree redux.
So here are a few examples of what the SMART Corridor project will bring to the Webster Street area:
I know we all want one of those monstrosities in front of our houses, no?
According to the discussion at the TC, apparently these signs are not “to scale” but why bother popping an example in the first place if it’s not going to give people an idea of what they can expect?
Lots of other traffic monitoring devices in order to prioritize signal lights and the like slated as part of this plan. Basically it’s like that scene in one of those action/suspense movies where some hacker takes control of the City’s traffic switchboard and changes all the signal lights to green to let the the escape vehicle speed through the intersections.
According to the staff report construction on the SMART corridor fixtures should start in Spring of 2012 (like now) with a completion date of Fall 2012, but I think the public has very little information or knowledge about this project and the possible impacts for some neighborhoods (like the ones getting those horrific signs) it almost appears as though Public Works has learned nothing from the fallout of Park Street and is plowing ahead with what they think is best and attempting to avoid public input and scrutiny. The total cost for this project is $1.5 million, nothing to sneeze at, I think we need some more opportunities for public input on this project.