NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Traffic Commission is recommending that seven metered spaces be installed on the east side of Ashland Street between Summer and Quincy streets.
The board voted 4-1 to send the recommendation to the City Council with Commissioner MaryAnn King voting against.
Glenn Maloney had appeared before the commission in March on behalf of Very Good Property Development, which had inquired more than a year ago about allowing parking in what is now a no-parking zone. The real estate development company owns the property at 48 Ashland.
Maloney was seeking the addition of metered parking on the east side of Ashland to accommodate the development company's and other businesses along that side of the street.
The major question was how the parking could impact the right-turning lane onto Summer Street. The commission voted to determine the length of turning lanes based on traffic manuals and that, once determined, to measure what standard parking could be implemented along that section of road.
Commissioner Amanda Chilson said she had spoken with state Department of Transportation officials but wasn't able to get any definite criteria related to right-turning lanes.
"They couldn't give me a specific anything, like in a manual," she said, but she was able to get the regulations from the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control for crosswalks. "It's in the manual that parking spaces must at least 20 feet back from crosswalks at a signal intersections."
There are crosswalks at Summer and Quincy so the measurements would have to start back from those.
"With the lane configuration, there's no simple answer," she repeated from her conversations with MassDOT. "The traffic section advises that a traffic engineer be hired to do a traffic study to determine what effects any changes to lane configuration would have on safety and capacity along Ashland Street."
Chilson said she had repeated the questions about parking spots in right-turning lanes and was told only that there are many factors that determine that such as the intersection's overcapacity level, crash data and turning movements.
She also noted that Ashland Street will be redone for a state Complete Street project, which is on the county's Transportation Improvement Plan for funding. That could mean a bike lane through that area but that didn't mean you couldn't park there.
King and Commissioner Paul Markland, the city's highway foreman, said they had addressed a similar situation with a parking on Eagle Street and the right-turn lane onto Main Street.
When the city had put in the right-turn lanes years ago, there had been one more metered spot on Eagle that the state said had to be removed.
"We had a to pull that meter out because they said this lane has to be so long," King said.
The commissioners thought using that model should work because the Eagle and Main Street intersection is heavily used.
King, however, felt that the discussion in March had pointed to the preference by the administration of having a traffic study should be done.
"There was actually quite a few issues and that's why we had to bring it back," she said, adding, "I think we need the engineering study before we do anything."
The commission still voted to recommend to the council. Chilson said the council could then decide to send it to the Public Safety Committee and possibly back to the commission before anything was decided.
In other business, the commission reviewed a letter from Gail Burda about high hedges blocking sight lines when trying to exit from Olds Street onto Demond Avenue. Her letter was forwarded to Inspection Services since planting height is a code enforcement issue.
Gary Rivers of Reservoir Road asked the commission to consider signage to reduce traffic along the roadway over concerns of a small luxury camping site being constructed on nearby Notch Road. He said there were several warning signs for pitch, curves and children but no speed signage.
The commissioners asked him to place his concerns in writing so it would be on file. Chilson noted that the City Council has been debating a reduction in speed in residential zones from the standard 30 mph to 25 mph and that it might be better to wait before installing signage.
Chairman David Sacco said a request for speed limits signs could go to the Highway Department but Commissioner Eric Buddington asked that it also be placed on the next agenda for followup, including how far out the 25 mph proposal is.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
North Adams Finance Committee Reviews General Govt Budget
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Finance Committee last week began its review of the proposed fiscal 2022 budget starting with the proposed $1,401,608 General Government section.
On Wednesday, it will be looking at Public Safety.
Mayor Thomas Bernard cautioned that the figures being presented were not set in stone.
"This is an extremely preliminary look at where we are in the budget, some of the categories in General Government are still under review," he said. "We'll be tweaking those for a while, as we as we go forward but this is this is where we are at the starting point of the budget."
The General Government budget is up 12 percent, or $156,083, over this year's budget of $1,245,525. Bernard reminded the committee that this year's budget line had been reduced by moving some items to reserve accounts to balance the full budget for what was expected to be a tough fiscal year... click for more
The program is open to high school and post-secondary students ages 14 to 22 with a documented disability. The program's goal is to equip students with the skills they need to enter the post highschool world.
click for more
The request was the only substantive issue on the agenda and, although seemingly straightforward, it engendered some discussion on its reasoning and the way it was presented on the agenda.
click for more