Flashing crosswalk signs, parking changes approved in Adams


ADAMS — Motorists parking along the western side of Columbia Street will have an extra hour to conduct their business, and pedestrians will have an easier time crossing Commercial Street.

The changes are among a set of eight Traffic Commission recommendations approved by the Select Board after some discussion and a presentation by town police Chief Richard Tarsa Jr., who is chairman of the commission.

The parking time limit, which will impact numbers 46, 48, 50, 52 and 56, is two hours, extended from a previous one hour parking limit.

"No Passing" signs that were discovered missing from East Road in the vicinity of the Burnett Farm will be replaced the town Department of Public Works. Signs warning of farm equipment in the road near the farm were also recommended by traffic commission members.

A recommendation that two solar-powered flashing lights warning of pedestrians crossing the road to the north and south of the southernmost crosswalk near 75 Commercial St. drew some debate from board. The address is that of the Millhouses of Adams apartment complex, which generates significant pedestrian traffic, including children.

Tarsa told selectmen during the recent presentation that the area is a high vehicle traffic area. Pedestrians face challenges when trying to cross even if they are in the crosswalk because of the volume and speed of vehicles.

Steps meant to improve crossing safety, such as painting walks and curbs and cutting back shrubbery to improve visibility have not resulted in easier crossing, he said. Crosswalk light costs vary from vendor to vendor, but Tarsa said some cost between $2,500 and $2,800 per light.

Selectman Arthur "Skip" Harrington said he's talked about mechanisms to slow traffic speeds there in the past.

"I suggested rumble strips," he said. "You could do every place in town with rumble strips for the price of one sign."

Exactly where to site crosswalk rumble strips to effect safety improvements was a point of concern and Community Development Director Donna Cesan noted that rumble strips generate some noise.

"It is a residential area," she said.

"So it's more important to let people sleep than save a life?" Harrington asked.

Selectman John Duval agreed that the lights are a good idea and suggested additional locations for the lights, including near the Dollar General Store on Columbia Street.

The recommendation to purchase two lights will go forward as it was included in the vote to approve all recommendations in the commission report.


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