30+ residents gathered in the third floor community room of the VNA on Monday May 18th to see design plans for Cedar Street that, officials are hoping, will slow vehicular speed, improve access to Cedar Street from side streets and improve road quality.
Tom Bertulis of Design Consultants, Inc. accompanied by Wayne Keefner presented a set of permanent chicanes, one bump-out and one grooved patch to attendees, as well as, offering further data on the unique nature of Somerville that rounded out the presentation.
The anticipated raised crosswalk in between the current Community Path and the Community Path Extension to Lowell Street will be installed in mid-June according to City Officials who also pointed out that money set aside by the MaxWell's Green Covenant has been not been utilized. Chicanes painted on Lowell Street were funded out of the City's Traffic and Parking budget and the raised crosswalk will be built with other monies.
The presentation included a bump-out at the corner of Clyde and Cedar...a location that residents have complained about for many years. Concerns of parking loss due to the bump-out were quickly squashed as Bertulis informed residents that the size of the addition would not occupy space that a car is legally allowed to park in. It blocks cars from parking too close to the intersection, thus, blocking the view of those accessing Cedar Street. It was the hope of two resident, myself included, that the bump-out would be a green space maintained by the resident who suggested it.
Permanent chicanes would be used to slow traffic down from Highland to Broadway and speed cushions would be placed on the corners of Franey Road to alert drivers taking the right to slow down.
Residents near the bridge expressed their frustration over speeding cars, as well. The City plans on enforcing the speed limit at this location and are going to see if the implemented chicanes alleviate some of the volume, as well.
Chicanes are slated to be installed by this summer/fall during a period of time that sees Cedar Street getting a much needed repavement and sidewalk upgrade. City Officials also promised improved notification to residents and abutters when construction will commence.