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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Radar Feedback Pilot Ongoing in Wards 2, 5 for Traffic Calming

Lowell Street speed limit sign
 Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston, Ward 5 Alderman Sean O'Donovan and the Somerville Traffic and Parking Department (T&P) announced that the City has begun a traffic calming pilot program in portions of those wards, using radar feedback signs to determine current speeds on some major roadways.
Beginning last week, radarfeedback signs were placed on Lowell Street (southbound) prior to the railroad bridge, as well as on Beacon Street (southbound) prior to the intersection of Oxford Streets. The radars, though displays were turned off for the duration of the week, registered and recorded vehicle speeds.

Effective this week, displays had been turned on, and registered speeds will be measured to determine the effectiveness of the signs in slowing vehicular traffic. If proven effective, the pilot program may be invested in areas throughout the City.

The program is being undertaken as part of the City's ongoing efforts to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, and to make Somerville more walkable, pedestrian- and bike-friendly community.

Crossing on the south side of Lowell Street was a major concern that brought up during last year's ResiStat meeting by numerous Princeton, Lowell, Alpine and VNA residents. It was at this meeting that research on traffic calming measures were made by Traffic and Parking director and Ward 5 resident, Matt Dias.

Corresponding links and legislation:
Legislative File #190419: That the Director of Traffic and Parking apear before the Committee on Public Health and Public Safety to discuss speeding on the south side of the Lowell Street Bridge.

Legislative File #190420:That the Director of Traffic and Parking appear before the subcommittee on Public Health and Public Safety to discuss unsafe speeds of motor vehicles on the southerly side of the Lowell Street bridge.

 Watch video of reading of order #190419 and #190420 (#13 and #14).

Here is the Lowell Street radar feedback sign in action:


Todd H. said...

On Monday night, I saw someone light up that sign at 53mph. If DPW wants to slow people down, put traffic tables at the Princeton and Vernon Street intersections. People think Lowell Street is a drag strip.

Anonymous said...

I drove south over that bridge this past winter with much snow all around... doing the mandated 25MPH---guess what? A young lady, on her cell-phone, passed me on the left while I was STILL ON THE BRIDGE. She had to be doing at least 45+ MPH---and accelerated once past me, and past the VNA driveway.

Once in awhile I have noticed a police car parked, police officer inside; in the body shop's parking area, and at times parked, with police officer inside, in the VNA parking lot-----but don't doubt very much that any speeding driver has been pulled over.

Actually, most speeding drivers slow down when they spot the police cruiser.

What's needed is an umarked police car with officer inside, to assess what is ACTUALLY happening with speeding/reckless drivers---coming from both directions on Lowell Street.

Like someone else said: the "hammer" will come down when a pedistration is killed or injured on Lowell Street.