Wednesday December 5th at 7:00 p.m.
An “open house” style public informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m. in the large community room of the Senior Community Center at 331 High Street regarding the “Safe Routes to Schools” (SRTS) project.
The SRTS project is intended to encourage students to walk and bicycle to school safely through improvements to sidewalks and crosswalks along a portion of High Street between Toppans Lane and Buck Street. Many have long observed safety concerns for students and others walking and bicycling to school across High Street due to the high volume and speed of motor vehicles, the wide crosswalks, the sight lines obscured by parked cars, the relatively narrow bike lanes, and the poor sidewalk conditions and noncompliant wheelchair ramps. The City’s goal for the project along High Street is to provide a safer, more functional, more universally accessible, pleasing streetscape and transportation corridor.
In addition to reconstructing the sidewalks, the project includes adjusting the locations and shortening the length of the four existing crosswalks in the area to reduce pedestrian exposure to motor vehicle traffic, including installing small pedestrian-activated flashing beacons. The project also includes adjusting the curbing to reduce the excessively wide portions of the street and creating “bump-outs” (similar to downtown Newburyport) to calm traffic and open up the sight lines at crosswalks and intersections. Consultants have mapped the distribution of students’ homes, observed school arrival and dismissal patterns, reviewed collision histories and traffic counts, and met with staff and community members as they have developed the project. The plans are currently at a draft final stage, and the project should be bid for construction by the state in 2019.
For more information, contact Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager in Newburyport’s Planning Office, at (978) 465-4400 x6.