Traffic and Parking Commission Addresses Chelsea Square Issues

At last week’s meeting, the Traffic and Parking Commission heard from a resident concerned about traffic and safety issues downtown and in Chelsea Square.

Edwin Barrientos requested that the city replace three existing stop signs with solar LED stop signs at the Chelsea Square intersection and to paint Stop on the street at the three stops, and to repaint traffic arrows/directions and signage that were previously installed on Congress Avenue at Broadway.

“I frequent the area on a daily basis multiple times, and at night time, it seems like cars fly through the stop signs in any of the directions,” said Barrientos. “The area is pretty dark, so I think the stop signs currently at Chelsea Square are not visible, so maybe LED lights could help, along with the stop signs painted along the road.”

He said some of the traffic lines and safety measures in the area have not been replaced due to construction in the area.

Traffic commission member James Caron of the public works department noted that many of the issues raised by Barrientos will be addressed during the ongoing Broadway reconstruction project.

He noted that in the spring, the public works department will also be working to improve lane markings in the area, which should also help address some issues.

“I bet you will see a little better traffic flow because there will be two lanes on each side, so it will move a little bit better,” said Caron.

He said the city could also look into the possibility of flashing stop signs and doing some additional lane markings over the next year until the large-scale Broadway improvements are finished.

The commission tabled Barrientos’ request until the May meeting in order to take a closer look at the feasibility of some of the upgraded lane markings.

In other business, Police Sgt. and commission member John Noftle requested the reservation of two parking spaces for police business only at the 30 Washington Ave. community police substation from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Right across from city hall, we have a substation, we’ve had it for probably 25 years but we haven’t really used it, but now we are going to actually open that to the public,” said Noftle. 

Caron said he was concerned that with the construction already going on in the area, it would take up too much parking around city hall.

Noftle noted the request was for public vehicles that had police business, and not for police vehicles.

Caron noted that there is 30-minute parking across the street from the substation at city hall, as well as parking at city hall itself. The commission denied Noftle’s request, but Noftle indicated that he was okay with the 30-minute parking options in the area for people who might use the substation.

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