Why Can't There Be A Crosswalk Button In Front of the New Fire Station?
Welcome to You Asked, Patch Answers
Today's Patch Answers column comes from Wednesday's nights Planning Board meeting, and it technically wasn't asked to us, but to the Planning Board.
Billerica Road resident Pam Murphy wondered why the crosswalk coming near Perham Street across Billerica Road for the new Fire Station project can't have one of those little buttons that let pedestrians request vehicular traffic stop while they cross.
Jeff Alberti of the engineering consulting firm Weston&Sampson answered that that specific location did not meet the required traffic warrants, but what are traffic warrants?
Well, the state of Massachusetts follows Chapter 4 of the Federal Department of Transportation's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD when it comes to whether or not to allow traffic and pedestrian signals on state roads like Billerica Road, also known as Route 129.
The MUTCD serves as a standardized set of guidelines for local and regional planning authorities on things like traffic lights, stop signs, curb markings and other things that can impact road safety and traffic flow.
Despite the lack of a signal, the crosswalk was moved slightly closer to the station after earlier requests and is now projected to be near the side driveway currently next to the upper parking lot at town hall.
During the meeting, the site plan was approved, and now goes out to bid for construction. Paving between the lower parking lot and Chelmsford Street is expected to occur this summer, with a top coat to be placed later after construction is concluded.