Not one year has gone by and Chelsea has already received a lucrative grant to help make the streets around Chelsea High School safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
The conflicted and complicated area features drivers coming off the highway, freight trucks, kids walking to school and bicyclists traveling across the community. The Baker Administration announced this month that Chelsea would receive $361,364 to help make safety improvements.
Planner Alex Train said after the Council passed the new Complete Streets ordinance last year, the City did an inventory of dangerous intersections and corridors.
First on the list was the Carter Street and Everett Avenue areas around the high school.
“A priority was Chelsea High School and it was first on the list,” he said. “There’s a lot of students that traverse by there every day. They go down Beech and across Carter every day. It’s just not optimal for walking.”
The project includes installation of new pedestrian signal equipment, including pedestrian push buttons and countdown signal heads, bicycle route signs and bicycle detection, sidewalk extensions, striping a new crosswalk across the Everett Avenue, and restriping pavement markings.
In addition, new 5-foot wide bicycle lanes will be striped along both directions of Everett Avenue between the city line and the rail line crossing, and along both directions of Carter Street between Everett Avenue and Blossom Street.
Train said they will also put a Rapid Flashing Beacon sign at the crosswalk on Carter Street – a very dangerous crossing for students.
“It adds to what is a very nice collection of pedestrian safety improvements for all the students coming from 1st and 4th Streets and trying to cross,” he said. “It’s also great for teachers coming from parking areas on Carter Street and for residents trying to get to the fields or the DCR swimming pool.”
The project is likely slated for construction next summer.
This year was the first allotment of Complete Streets funds, and Train said they plan to continue applying each year. If approved, they would apply next year’s funding to the Beacham Street improvement project.