If you drove through the intersection of Route 85 and Main Street today, you may have wondered what the brightly colored stakes were for.
According to former Selectman David Parry, the stakes were put in through requests by St. Mark’s School and the Village Society. They are part of a neighborhood effort to physically demonstrate where land, trees and stone walls will be impacted by the Main Street reconstruction project.
The effort was made in preparation for Wednesday night’s meeting to review and ask questions about the town’s plans for the project. (Reminder, that meeting is 7:00 pm, April 2nd at the Senior Center.)
In some areas the stakes represent the edge of sidewalk, while in others, it marks the planned street edge.
Parry states that there will be no grass within the marked area. Unlike the current layout, there is no grass strip between the planned sidewalk and the road.
Note: Karen Galligan, Director of DPW clarified for me that how the sidewalks are laid out could be changed in the 75% phase of the construction plan. See her detailed explanation below.*
According to Parry, the stakes “accurate within a foot or two”. The lines mark:
- Along Route 85 North (towards St. Mark’s School on the side of the field) – the edge of the road.
- Route 85 South (towards Woodward School on that side of the road) – the edge of the sidewalk, next to either grass or a future stone wall.
- Main Street East (towards the Fire Station along the side of the field) – the edge of the sidewalk, next to the grass field.
Reconstruction plans also require taking down some mature trees. Some of the trees are damaged or have “health” problems, but not all. The Department of Public Works plans to plant new trees to replace some of these. But the loss of mature trees has been a noted concern of some residents.
Some trees that would be chopped along the intersection under current project plans have been wrapped in yellow caution tape.
I took a few snapshots today to share in case you can’t get by before tomorrow night’s meeting.
Update (4/1/14 4:20 pm) I posted before seeing a response from DPW to a question I posed about the sidewalks. Galligan explained:
The 25% plans are preliminary and the width of the travel lanes, shoulders, and sidewalks along with the centerline, intersections and creating an overall safer corridor are what the plan is about. The material for the sidewalk is to be determined in the next phase of design. There is still an opportunity, between the 25% and 75% design plans to discuss whether residents want the sidewalks adjacent to the roadway or off the road and what type of landscaping and “accents” they are looking for to beautify the corridor.
The right of way at St. Mark’s and at the Community House is maxed with the sidewalk being placed next to the roadway. Whether residents want to keep the sidewalk as proposed, have a large grass strip with trees, a small brick accent strip between the sidewalk and curb or anything in between, will be discussed during the next design phase. However, any changes at the intersection will require that the Town approach St. Mark’s and the Community House for larger permanent easements.
Updated (4/1/14 7:15 pm) Good news – Town Administrator Mark Purple tells me that the Magnolia tree won’t be taken down. The tree will be relocated on the Community Lawn property.
I removed the photo of the tree covered in yellow tape (which needs to be taken down) to avoid confusion.