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Milton officials alter traffic flow at East Milton Square

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  January 15, 2013 09:43 AM

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The traffic flow experiment at East Milton Square will continue, though with a few adjustments after recommendations from Milton’s Traffic Commission at a recent selectmen meeting.

The most immediate is that right turns will no longer be allowed on red lights from Adams Street onto Granite Avenue.

Pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk directly around the corner from the intersection can’t be seen during such turns and are put at risk, according to Police Chief Richard Wells and Department of Public Works Director Joseph Lynch, who are Traffic Commission members.

“I’ve had more than one person complain about it,” selectmen Chairman Thomas Hurley said at the meeting Thursday. “People just don’t stop.”

Selectmen unanimously voted to end such turns onto Granite Avenue. Wells added that the crosswalk close to the intersection should be moved.

The more slippery issue involved a special left turn lane from eastbound Adams Street to northbound Granite Avenue called the “slip lane.” Selectmen hope to close the lane to allow more parking and open space in the new East Milton Square renovation, but Traffic Commission members had concerns.

Closing the slip lane would force a vehicle wanting to turn from Adams to Granite Avenue to take the long way around the small park at the center of East Milton Square on Bryant Avenue and Boulevard Street.

Large trucks will have trouble negotiating those turns, especially where Boulevard Street meets Granite Avenue, Lynch said. A large truck would be forced to take the turn by impeding both lanes of traffic, potentially backing up Boulevard Street, he said.

Boulevard Street would have to be widened if the slip lane was removed, Lynch said.

“It is physically possible, but it boils right down to cost,” Lynch said Thursday.

The town has received about $1 million from a federal grant for the project and will be asking residents for between $300,000 and $400,000 for the design and engineering of the project, according to Milton Planning Director William Clark.

Selectmen also approved a Town Meeting warrant article for the design money at Thursday’s meeting.

“This is an opportunity to enhance East Milton Square, not just with parking, but to really make it as much of a jewel of this community as the gazebo out front,” Wells said, gesturing to the structure in front of Town Hall.

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