Archive 2008 - 2019

Comments on the Proposed Downtown Traffic Controls

by Richard Kattman
3/7/2016

At the west end of the project, I widened the sidewalks in front of the Holliston Grille, moved the crosswalk location east to intersect Green Street to shorten the crossing distance and to a place where most people will cross to go to the park. I  also limited the right lane in front of the bank to right turn only to prevent merging issues at the next intersection heading east towards Central Street.

Here I widened the bumpout at Superette and Fiskes and realigned the crosswalk to be perpendicular to the roadway, reducing the length of the crosswalk and pedestrian time in the crosswalk. This design also restricts the east bound right lane to a right turn only to eliminate the problem of merging traffic through a crosswalk.

I have widened the sidewalks in front of Fiskes and Kamala and extended the bumpouts at the crosswalk, again to shorten the time and distance for pedestrians.

At the east end of the project my plan shortens the crosswalk time and distance with bumpouts at both sides of Washington Street.

Overall my plan recognizes the extra pavement widths that exist currently and reduces the roadway lanes to 12 foot wide design standards and applies the excess area to sidewalks and landscaping. Narrower traffic lanes, wider sidewalks and additional trees and site furniture will create a safe and inviting Holliston center. All this is accomplished while adding one additional parking space over the current plan.

Comments (11)

I think that this plan really enhances both the safety and aesthetic appeal of our downtown. I would encourage that some thought be given to narrowing Washington Street between the Congregational Church and St. Mary's. The wide roadway in that area provides a signal to drivers to "speed up" right before they enter a very busy intersection. Raised islands in that section of the road would also make it easier for pedestrians to cross Washington St.

Jana Milbocker | 2016-03-21 06:49:48

Bicycle safety is of course a top priority and should be accommodated in any plan for Holliston Center. In order to accommodate two 5 ' bike lanes it appears necessary to remove parking in front of Fiske's and the library. Shared lanes allows parking. Further study and resolve of bicycle issues could include alternate/preferred safety routes to access schools?

Richard Kattman | 2016-03-10 11:43:11

Mr. Kattman, I appreciate the work you have done to present this to the community. In an effort to improve upon this design, I find myself agreeing with Pat Montain's comments about cyclist safety. Although shared lane markings may increase motorist awareness of cycle activity, they do little to design in a safe cycling environment. For example, a school bus is 8 feet wide with mirrors that extend 1-1/2 feet on either side. A cyclist that is being passed by a school bus anywhere within this area cannot maintain the required 3 foot passing clearance in a 12 foot lane, and is also subjected to the dangers of doors of parked car doors being opened in his path. Sensors on the lights need to have a clear line-of-sight to the traffic lanes in order to be activated by sight; other sensors do not pick up the non-ferrous and light materials used in modern bicycles. This is not the environment that we would be comfortable in allowing our school children to ride their bikes to school. I would urge you to consider using the extra space for dedicated separated bike lanes throughout the downtown area as recommend by Mass DOT Complete Streets regulations (http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/8/docs/SBLG/Cover_Introduction_TOC.pdf). Typically the lane is placed on the sidewalk side of the parked cars and physically separated from the traffic by plantings and raised berms very similar to your design elements. Note that on this same road (RT 126) Mass DOT is beginning construction on dedicated in street bike lines and a separate off street multi-use pedestrian/bike path that will extend from the Framingham line, through Ashland, and end at the Holliston border.

John Connor | 2016-03-09 16:35:22

Your time and expertise in presenting this design that creates a harmonious downtown is much appreciated. Thank you! I do, however, think that crosswalks should be located only where there are traffic lights. Having that fourth crosswalk in between two traffic lights -- even with a pedestrian light -- is inviting trouble. Pedestrians also need to be educated to walk the extra few feet to use designated crosswalks rather than jaywalking.

Beate Hait | 2016-03-07 17:16:44

MASS Bike policies allow marking the bicyclist's line of travel within shared lanes. The Kattman Plan includes three stop lights per the McMahon Plan market TL with black dot.

Richard Kattman | 2016-03-07 14:48:04

Thank you for your time and all the critical thought that went into these drawings. I live downtown and have a child who is at an age where he should be able to venture out on his own, but I must admit I am fearful of him crossing Washington. My only concern with this plan is that traffic may back way up and getting through town for motorists (school busses, townies and commuters) during rush hour(s) may become a very lengthy process. Thank you again!

Corinne Kelleher | 2016-03-07 14:42:05

Thanks for the modifications. I have 2 concerns. One is regarding some of the trees. Trees in front of Kamala may impede the view of drivers exiting the Superette/Kamala parking lots, as well as trees on the UCC side of Hollis Street (if right turn on red is allowed. I strongly feel that right turn on red from Hollis and Central should be carefully discussed, because it still leaves people vulnerable in the crosswalk.

Donna Allen | 2016-03-07 14:15:58

(Traffic lights are marked on plan at appropriate intersections as dots with "TL".) Kudos for illustrating what a greener, safer plan would look like. Cars would be slowed down with narrow lanes and lights. Pedestrians can negotiate shorter distances at redesigned crosswalks, especially at Exchange Street to get to Goodwill Park. With more trees and plantings, our downtown would look more vibrant. Thank you for your time, Richard!

Cherry Fenton | 2016-03-07 06:36:40

Nice art project, but where are the traffic lights? I do hope this exercise includes traffic lights, because while it certainly looks pretty, it won't alleviate any of the safety concerns if there are no traffic lights. I also don't see the need for 4 crosswalks across Washington Street... if you're leaving the library you can walk to the corner at either of the close intersections, Central or Hollis.

Vince Packard | 2016-03-07 05:59:04

Mr. Kattman, thank you for sharing your talent and time regarding this project. Do these road dimensions accommodate safety for cyclists?

Pat Montain | 2016-03-07 05:14:58

This plan looks like a village setting should look like.

Mark Ahronian | 2016-03-07 04:48:36