Traffic Commission Considers Plans for Several Problem Areas

The Traffic and Parking Commission is close to approving potential solutions for traffic concerns raised by residents in two areas in the city, and is taking up concerns on Franklin Street raised by two city councilors.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Director of Housing and Community Development Alex Train presented a plan for traffic calming measures near the intersection of Washington and Jefferson avenues. The plan will be reviewed by the fire department before the commission takes a final vote.

“Right now, we are proposing painted curb extensions at the corner of Washington and Jefferson avenues,” said Train. This will tighten the turning radius for vehicles turning from Washington to Jefferson in order to slow vehicle speeds.

“Secondly, we are proposing to narrow the lane widths of Jefferson Avenue and installing pavement markers to warn drivers of the upcoming crosswalk and stop sign,” said Train. “That combination of signage and pavement markings would alert drivers to slow before they reach the crosswalk.”

Lastly, Train said the city would restripe the crosswalk with a higher visibility thermal plastic to make it more visible to drivers and warn them that it is a pedestrian crossing area.

“Combined, these improvements would improve visibility at this corner while slowing vehicular speed and enhancing public safety,” said Train.

Train said he and members of the DPW have been meeting with residents who raised concerns about traffic on Summit Avenue to review a potential plan with them.

Proposed measures for that area include two elevated speed humps, approximately three inches in height, on Warren Avenue combined with pavement markings to slow speeding vehicles in the neighborhood.

On Summit Avenue, Train said the city is proposing a combination of pavement markings and signage to channel traffic approaching the intersection of Webster Avenue and slow speeding vehicles. Further up Spencer Avenue close to the Soldiers Home, the city is proposing a program comprised of pavement markings with a painted center median, narrowed lane widths, signage, and a flashing radar sign.

“All in all, we have heard some feedback from the neighborhood, so we are going to make a few minor tweaks to these plans, but they are more or less final,” said Train. “The goal is to implement the plans this summer with funding proposed in the capital improvement program.”

Train said his department and the DPW will also begin to look at traffic calming measures on Franklin Avenue after receiving a request for a speed hump on the road from City Councilors Damali Vidot and Melinda Vega Maldonado. The request was made because of concerns about vehicles speeding and going the wrong way up the road.

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