Committee suggests lighted signs for bike crossings

By Georgia Sparling | Oct 11, 2016

Mattapoisett — Bike path intersections at Mattapoisett Neck Road and Brandt Island Road will soon be easier to spot.

On Tuesday, a committee created to improve safety and visibility at the two locations presented recommendations to Selectmen.

One of the main suggestions is for speed signs that will flash when cars exceed the speed limit, with the goal of slowing down traffic near the bike path.

Registered voters will be asked to approve purchase of the signs at Fall Town Meeting in November.

Another set of flashing lights will also be installed on the roads. Paid for through a grant, these signs will alert drivers when a pedestrian or cyclist is approaching the roadway from the path.

In addition to the signs, the committee would like to see a reduction in the speed limit in the area near the path on Mattapoisett Neck Road, from 40 to 30 miles per hour.

Police Chief Mary Lyons, a member of the committee, said the last time a speed study was done on the road was the ‘70s or ‘80s, and the area is much more developed.

Lowering the speed limit requires approval from the Department of Transportation. Selectmen agreed to petition the DOT for the change.

The committee also suggested painting the road around the intersections with symbols and crossing marks to alert drivers to the crossing.

For those who frequent these roads, the addition of more signs may sound like overkill, but the committee, including Highway Surveyor Barry Denham, would like to see some of the existing signage moved.

“There seems to be sign congestion there. We’re trying to figure out a plan to clean up signage,” said Lyons.

Stanchions that would slow down bikers are also a possibility, but Lyons said the committee has further research to do on the design of the intersection before making a full recommendation. A design plan may be ready for the Annual Town Meeting in the spring.

In the meantime, Denham said his crew can work on painting the road.

In other (sign) news:

Town Administrator Mike Gagne said the town has received approval to install flashing crossings on Route 6. The signs will be at Pearl Street and near the Ropewalk plaza.

Gagne also said the DOT has begun surveying Route 6 with the possibility of adding a sidewalk on the south side from Brandt Island Road to Main Street.

“It’s one of highest requests we get,” said Gagne. “People who want to come to the Village don’t want to take the danger of crossing Route 6.”

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