Where's My Crosswalk?!
Who decided this plan?
Nevermind the trees. Now they're removing crosswalks!
We were a bit shocked to come back from vacation to find that the well-used crosswalk between Boxcar Media and Atef's Jeweler is being removed as part of the ongoing reconstruction of Main Street.
We're not sure why a crosswalk is being eliminated at the same time the city is trying to drive pedestrian traffic into the downtown. Was it something we said?
The walkway lies about midway between the intersection with Eagle and Ashland and the crosswalk in front TD Banknorth. We can attest to its usage - it's right outside our window.
Old habits die hard.
People park their cars to use the mailbox on the shady side of the street and then cross over to the bank. It's easier to use to get to Eagle Street or to the post office than crossing at the intersection, where you have to watch the lights at multiple stops and righthand-turning vehicles. There's no "safe" centerpoint either at the intersection.
We don't understand the thinking behind the crosswalk's elimination (Do we really have too many points to cross the street? Did people complain?) but we're pretty sure it will mean more pedestrians crossing at the lights and faster speeds by our window.
Meanwhile, we're watching people navigating the just-installed granite curbing — and wondering what it's doing there.
Update: We talked to the mayor after Tuesday's City Council meeting. He said one of the strings attached to the federal grants by the EPA requires that crosswalks be a certain distance apart to reduce the number of vehicles stopping and idling out emissions. Our crosswalk isn't far enough away from the other two to qualify — so out it goes.
Hey, we're against over-idling and for reducing emissions, but this isn't the big city. There's no bumper-to-bumber traffic. We don't think the occasional car that has to stop/slow for 5 seconds is going to make that big of a difference. Not that the federal government cares about our opinion.
|Tags: Main Street, crosswalk|