Safety Audit Released
by Bobby Blair 10/21/12
In short order, Department of Transportation returns safety audit of downtown Holliston...
Unlike the Classification & Compensation Study which residents voted for at town meeting and which has been only partially completed by Stone Consulting Inc, a new safety audit by the state's Department of Transportation (MassDOT) arrived back in town in under two weeks and cost the town ziltch.
Prior to the audit report from MassDOT, the Holliston Police Department conducted two crash analyis studies in the downtown area between 725 Washington Street (Congregational Church) and 830 Washington Street (Middlesex Saving Bank). The crash data provided by the police department stated that the area between Washington Street and Hollis Street put the area within the top 5% of high crash locations within the Metropolitan Area Planning Council region.
The Department of Transportation Safety Audit is lengthy, 27 pages with numerous suggestions and considerations for those in local government to consider. The suggestions are broken down into safety pay-offs, time frames and costs. The suggestions are further broken down into locations. As an example: Location #5: Hollis Street/Charles Street/Washington Street Intersection.
Consider installing "Do Not Block Intersection" signs and pavement markings to prevent queued traffic on Washington Street from "blocking the box". This should be considered carefully, as concern was expressed that this may result in an increase in "courtesy crashes".
Consider a change in traffic control at the intersection. Possible changes could include a roundabout or a traffic signal. A study should be undertaken that considers all three intersections along the corridor to determine what configuration would be optimal to improve safety without adversely impacting capacity.
While the Department of Transportation has addressed traffic signals downtown, the audit appears to suggest rather than mandate traffic lights at Hollis and Washington and Central and Washington. The ball regarding downtown safety is now in the town's court. In the "Responsibility" column supplied by the DOT, the onus comes down to the Town of Holliston.