Traffic measures OK’d

Sep 15, 2020 by

Published in the September 15, 2020 edition.


WAKEFIELD — A number of recommendations from the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) were approved by the Town Council last night.

Meeting with the Town Council via Zoom teleconferencing, Police Lt. Joseph Anderson, who chairs the TAC, told the board that the TAC had met on Friday, Aug. 21 and discussed a number of issues that had been brought to their attention.

One of the matters involved parking on Crescent Street near Brightview, between Eaton Street and Centre Street. Anderson said that the TAC had received two citizen complaints regarding near head-on collisions caused by limited visibility. The visibility and roadway width is reduced due to on-street parking there, according to the complaints. Typically, only one vehicle is able to pass at a time.

Anderson noted that parking is already restricted on Crescent Street near the Main Street end. As a result of their discussion, the TAC asked DPW Engineering to measure roadway widths at various spots including the curve on Crescent Street. On that curve (near Brightview) the street is less than 25 feet wide and in three spots it is under 24 feet.

Anderson noted that typical travel lane widths are 10 feet and parking spaces are allotted approximately 7-9 feet. This brings the overall area well under the 29  feet needed for two travel lanes plus on-street parking. The TAC recommended that parking should be restricted and posted “No Parking” on Crescent Street from Eaton Street to Centre Street. This is a public safety issue on a well-traveled roadway, Anderson said, adding that the TAC believed that the risk of a collision does not justify the additional parking availability.

The second TAC recommendation involved Eaton Street, which runs from Crescent Street across from Brightview to Pleasant Street. Lt. Anderson told the Town Council that he met with a group of Eaton Street residents who reported an issue with vehicles parked on both sides of Eaton Street at the intersection of Crescent Street, causing the road to become nearly impassable at times. The parked vehicles also reportedly block visibility at the intersection.

The group also claimed issues with Brightview employees and visitors not using the parking garage under the facility and instead parking on Eaton Street, making their street congested during the day. Residents report difficulty backing out of their driveways and navigating the road with essentially only one lane on the Crescent Street end of Eaton Street. Lt. Anderson said that he did reach out to Brightview and informed them of the complaint. However, the parking has continued on Eaton Street, according to the residents.

The TAC recommended restricting parking to eliminate the safety issue caused by vehicles parked on both sides of the street blocking intersection visibility and access. The TAC recommended that “No Parking Here to Corner” signs be posted on both sides between 2 Eaton St. and 4 Eaton St. to the intersection of Crescent Street. This restriction will eliminate the congestion on both sides of the intersection.

Town Council members asked a number of questions before approving the TAC recommendation for Eaton Street.

Lt. Anderson also reported on a complaint that the TAC had received from a group of Perham Street residents that the roadway is too narrow for on-street parking on both sides of the street. Vehicles frequently park at the intersection with Water Street, causing reduced visibility of on-coming traffic and for traffic turning from Butler Avenue onto Water Street.

With visibility reduced there is a great potential for two vehicles to turn into each other, according to the complaint. When vehicles are parked at the intersection it reportedly makes the street nearly impassable for regular vehicles and impassable for larger emergency vehicles. Measurements were taken by DPW Engineering. The roadway width at the beginning of Perham St. near Water St. is 24 feet.

The TAC recommended that Perham Street parking be restricted on the even side of the street (which has less available parking spaces due to driveways, etc.) and that the intersection be posted “No Parking Here to Corner” on Perham Street for a distance of 39 feet from the intersection of Water Street.

Anderson said that the TAC received a request from an Emerson Street resident for resident parking permits for the entire street. Currently, resident permits are only available to Emerson Street residents who reside between Gould Street and Chestnut Street despite the fact that the entire street has a two-hour parking restriction. The TAC recommends that residents of Emerson Street from Chestnut Street to Prospect Street also be eligible to purchase resident parking permits to park beyond the two-hour parking restriction there.

Lt. Anderson also reported that the TAC had received three complaints from residents of the Fox Road and Newell Road neighborhood. They reported several near-miss collisions caused by no traffic control at the intersection of the two streets. The residents also report the intersection is unsafe for children playing anywhere near the intersection.

The TAC recommended that a stop sign be installed on both sides of Newell Road to establish a right of way for Fox Road. As it currently stands, it is not clear who has the right of way, Anderson said. The intersection is also obstructed by a large tree making it difficult to see that the roads intersect.

The Town Council vote to approve all of the Traffic Advisory Committee recommendations was unanimous.

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