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City aims to boost safety on West Roxbury road after finding 4 in 5 vehicles speeding

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 18, 2012 03:53 PM

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(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com / Google Maps)

The blue line in the above map shows the section of Grove Street where the city hopes to improve safety.

After finding that more than four in every five vehicles were speeding on a residential street in West Roxbury, the city is working on a $50,000 project to install new signage and road markings in an effort to improve traffic and pedestrian safety.

Responding to concerns from residents, engineers from the transportation department studied traffic along an about one-third mile stretch of Grove Street, between Washington Street and the Boston neighborhood’s border with the town of Dedham.

The data collected over a 24-hour period in March found that 8,286 vehicles traveled on the roadway and that 83.6 percent of those vehicles were driven above the 30 mile-per-hour speed limit, city officials said.

Officials at the Boston Transportation Department said they are now working to post new electronic speed display signs, install new crosswalks and paint new pavement markings in an effort to improve the road’s safety.

“I am happy to see BTD working closely with neighborhood residents to resolve problems on local streets,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “It’s important for residents to feel safe using neighborhood streets, and they should not have to be worried about their personal safety due to speeding cars and trucks. I’m confident that these new improvements will go a long way toward correcting this situation.”

The project recently began and is expected to be finished by the middle of October, officials said.

Two electronic signs showing drivers how fast they are travelling will be installed. One will face southbound traffic on Grove Street between Stimson and Jeshurun streets. The other will face northbound traffic on Grove Street between Jeshurun and Birchwood streets.

Two new crosswalks will be installed, according to the city. One will be at the intersection of Grove and Stimson streets. The other will be at the intersection of Grove and Birchwood streets. A total of four pedestrian ramps, and accompanying signage, will be installed at either side of the new crosswalks.

And, new pavement markings will be painted on Grove Street to better define the road’s 11-foot-wide travel lanes headed in either direction.

Further adjustments may be made as necessary, officials said.

Earlier this year, residents of Grove Street attended a Boston City Council hearing about the topic of “traffic calming” that was chaired by City Councilor Matt O’Malley, whose representation includes West Roxbury.

When residents expressed concern related to Grove Street traffic during that hearing, transportation department Commissioner Thomas J. Tinlin and department engineering director John DeBenedictis scheduled a meeting with residents to walk along the street and observe the traffic first-hand, according to the city.

“It was terrific to spend an afternoon walking Grove Street with residents and discussing traffic issues with them,” said a statement from Tinlin. “All involved agreed that traffic speed, traffic volume, and truck traffic were contributing to safety concerns. I am pleased to announce that a plan to correct this problem has been designed and agreed upon, and it is now in the process of being implemented.”

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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