November-Is that street safer?
In this issue:
If you feel like your street is treated like a racetrack, you are hardly alone. It's one of the most common complaints I hear from residents. The city has a list of requests for traffic calming--which uses paint or curb changes to force drivers to take it easy--for over 150 streets. Despite increasing budget lines (now at $350,000, plus $2m in ARPA funds), that list keeps growing.
Before we invest further, I asked the Transportation Division of DPW to report on some completed installations. It is important that we know whether these traffic measures work. The division has data on Grant, Beethoven, Allan, Chestnut and Pearl.
The upshot: more investment often produced slower speeds. Still, Director Jason Sobel and the committee agreed, Newton needs a regular process for post-construction evaluation so that we can invest smarter. Details of the department’s findings will be in the final report, in next Friday's packet. Meanwhile, the audio is here.
Keep moving forward!To continue this important work, the budget line for traffic calming will need to grow (and there's inflation…). This is one reason I enthusiastically support the proposed operating override--it will include funding for safety, add to our in-house team that does pavement markings, and help drive more repairs to roads and sidewalks. (More on the debt exclusion questions in a future update).
But that’s not all--to get up to speed on the whole proposal, visit the city’s informational site here, or attend one of these meetings
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Almost every month I write constituents about a topic before the city