Town Council tackles traffic issues

Sep 13, 2018 by

Published in the September 13, 2018 edition.

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — The Town Council this week approved a number of changes recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee. The TAC is chaired by Police Lt. Steven Skory, who presented the recommended changes.

The TAC will take one recommendation back to the drawing board after the Town Council could not agree on implementing it.

Skory explained that the TAC has received complaints of northbound traffic on Main Street in Greenwood backing up at the intersection with Forest Street when the train gates are down at the Forest Street crossing. This is caused by vehicles waiting to make a left turn from Main Street onto Forest Street. Traffic that wishes to continue northbound on Main Street is unable to pass due to four parking spaces on the east side of Main Street between the entrance to 894 Main Street and the Hallmark Health building. The back-up at the Main Street/Forest Street intersection affects the Main Street/Oak Street intersection during times of heavy traffic.

To eliminate this problem, the TAC
recommended the removal of the four parking spaces in order to allow northbound vehicles to pass and continue on Main Street.

But Town Councilor Edward Dombroski was concerned about losing four spaces in the Greenwood business district where parking is already at a premium. Town Councilor Ann Santos said that she didn’t think that those four spaces were used by business customers. Councilor Mehreen Butt claimed that the spaces are taken by employees of a business across the street who park in those spaces from about 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dombroski maintained that the problem could be solved by signage limiting those spaces to two-hour parking. He also warned that the occupied spaces serve to prevent northbound cars on Main Street from passing on the right at a high rate of speed.

Town Councilor Paul DiNocco agreed with Dombroski. He said that Greenwood businesses already complain about the dearth of parking. If vehicles are parked in those spaces all day they should be ticketed, he said.

But Town Councilor Julie Smith-Galvin agreed with removing the spaces, saying that it takes too long to get through that stretch on Main Street when traffic is backed up.

When acting Chairman Tony Longo called for a vote, it was tied 3-3. (Chairman Peter May was absent due to a family obligation.)

Skory said that he would take the matter back to the TAC for further review.

The Town Council did approve a number of other TAC recommendations.

They recommended changes to the parking on Charles Street where it intersects with Main Street. Charles Street residents have complained that vehicles are parking on Charles Street close to the Main Street intersection, which narrows the roadway and limits sight visibility for vehicles turning onto Charles Street from Main Street. There is also a crosswalk on Charles Street at this intersection. Vehicles parked too close to the crosswalk block the view of pedestrians utilizing the crosswalk.

The Town Council approved the TAC recommendation that “No Parking Here to Corner” signs be installed on both the north and south sides of Charles Street 40 feet east of the Main Street curb line.

The Town Council also approved a recommendation for signs on Water Street at the intersection with Crescent that advise motorists not to block the intersection. Skory noted that it is common for traffic to back up on Water Street and for vehicles on Water Street to be blocking the intersection when the signals change and Crescent Street has a green light. The TAC recommended one sign for westbound traffic on Water Street and one sign for eastbound traffic on Water Street that reads, “Do Not Block Intersection.”

Skory said that the TAC had received a request from the residents of Davidson Road for some relief from the parking at the Walton School.

“Over the course of two TAC meetings, we met with a number of Davidson Road residents who voiced their frustration with the parking situation on their street,” Skory said. “Complaints included parents who arrive 45 minutes early in the afternoon for student pickup, idling vehicles, blocked driveways and overflow parking from the school that sometimes lasts all day.”

Currently, parking is only allowed on one side of Davidson Road during the day. The south side of Davidson Road is posted with signs that prohibit parking between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Neighborhood residents requested that the north side of the street also be restricted to resident parking only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. The TAC agreed with this request and recommended the north side of Davidson Road be posted with signs that read, “Resident Parking Only 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.”

The Town Council approved the changes on Davidson Road.

The Town Council approved a TAC recommendation for a “Stop” sign on Castle Clare Circle. Skory explained that a resident of Montclare Avenue requested a “Stop” sign on Castle Clare Circle where it intersects with Montclare Avenue. The resident reported that most cars exiting Castle Clare Circle do not stop or yield the right of way to traffic on Montclare Avenue. This is a T–type intersection that currently has no traffic control signs, Skory said. Because it is a T– type intersection where Montclare Avenue has the right of way, the TAC recommended the “Stop” sign on Castle Clare Circle.

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