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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City Moves on Lowell Street Safety Initiatives

After meeting with residents last week, the City has moved on safety initiatives on Lowell Street. No Parking Any Time signs, as well as, mysterious covered signs have been placed in various locations between Albion Street and Medford Street.

During the June 25th gathering, various traffic calming measures were discussed and eliminated, with chicanes being determined as the cheapest and quickest method of slowing down vehicular speeding, according to volunteer Jason Schrieber of Nelson\Nygaard.

Wikipedia defines chicanes as an artificial feature creating extra turns in a road, used in motor racing and on streets to slow traffic for safety. Incorporated on Columbia Street in Cambridge, chicanes force lateral deflection, naturally, slowing down traffic as it makes the driver perceive the road as unpredictable. 

Chicanes can use permanent features such as bump-outs and plantings or basic grid painting and moving some parking spaces on the opposite side of the street, creating a zig-zag effect that would force cars to slow down. By decreasing the speed of vehicles down Lowell Street, cyclists will be able to exit side streets safer and pedestrians can cross with more confidence. City Officials noted their preference to be grid painting and diversified parking locations at the June 25th meeting.

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