The Packet Post Public Meeting on Traffic Calming Newburyport

Public Meeting on Traffic Calming Newburyport

by: Contributing Author

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                               

Contact: Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager, (978) 465-4400

PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULED for 9/5/19 to discuss concept plan for traffic calming at eastern end of High Street

Newburyport – There will be a re-scheduled public meeting in the Newburyport City Hall auditorium on Thursday September 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss a draft concept plan for traffic calming at the eastern end of High Street near the Newbury town line.

High Street curves and widens significantly between Allen and Marlboro Streets.  There is a school bus stop in this area of High Street at the top of Barton Court, plus March’s Hill park and an entrance to the Clipper City Rail Trail.  The neighborhood has expressed growing concern regarding safety risks for pedestrians, bicyclists, and property due to the perceived speeds and some accidents in this part of the corridor.  Up to seven thousands vehicles travel through this corridor every day, and, while most drive at approximately 25-30 mph, there are a number that drive faster than that each day.  The curve of the roadway interferes with sight lines, and the City has received reports of cars speeding past stopped school buses as well as through the crosswalk while pedestrians were in the street.  Cars have driven into houses, fences, utility poles, and other cars parked in driveways and on the street in this corridor.

The way a road is constructed, particularly its alignment and width, has a greater influence on motor vehicle speeds than regulatory speed limits and associated enforcement.  The City asked consultant TEC to develop a concept plan to address traffic calming in this area as part of the City’s Complete Streets planning initiative.  The concept plan would shift the granite curbing and remove excess pavement where the road is currently up to 65 feet wide.  Sidewalk bump-outs would be installed at Bromfield, Barton, and Marlboro Streets and at the mid-block crosswalk to March’s Hill to improve sightlines at all crosswalks, along with ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps.  Most on-street parking would be retained near the park.  New raised granite curbed medians would be installed to physically calm traffic and reduce speeds, and which could be made of granite cobble stones as planned near the High School or be landscaped.  The existing bicycle lanes would be widened from 4- to 5-feet, and the sidewalks on both sides would be reconstructed in their existing materials of brick or concrete along with landscaped buffers.   In addition, the existing outdated signalized crossing to the west of Bromfield Street would be replaced with a new pedestrian-activated signal.  The concept plan can be viewed online at the Newburyport Planning Office’s project web page at:  https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/sites/newburyportma/files/uploads/c._high_street_allen_to_marlboro_0.pdf.  TEC has estimated that such a project would cost approximately $475,000 to design and construct.

The upcoming public meeting is intended to provide a forum to help determine whether the City might proceed with attempting to secure funding and pursue such an approach.  Please note that there is currently no budget allocated for design or construction for this project.

For more information, contact Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager in Newburyport’s Planning Office, at gvining@cityofnewburyport.com or (978) 465-4400 x6.

C2. High Street (Allen to Marlboro) traffic calming concept plan TEC 2019

 

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