The Department of Public Works responded to a neighborhood request to improve safety issues at Parmenter and Pine Hill road. But the fixes being implemented are sparking disagreement.
In June, a fiery crash propelled neighbors to ask the Town for safety improvements at the intersection. Area residents told Public Works that too many accidents had occurred and something needed to be done.
In response, the DPW commissioned a safety study. The study found “a crash rate slightly above District-wide average” and identified the likely contributing factors:
roadside obstructions, lack of clear zones, and limited sight distance
The DPW is implementing the engineering firm’s recommended fixes. Among them are a new stop sign and stop line on Pine Hill Road, clearing vegetation, and a re-graded intersection. DPW Director Karen Galligan confirmed yesterday that some residents are arguing those fixes either aren’t enough or the right ones.
According Galligan, some residents are pushing for stop signs to be put up on Parmenter Road before or instead of the other work being done. But the DPW head says that before adding a stop sign to a throughway, process dictates fixing the other problems first. The engineers and experts believe those fixes will be enough to avoid installing stop signs on Parmenter.
Beyond that, Galligan sees adding a stop sign on Parmenter Road at the intersection as a hazard rather than improvement.
Galligan pointed out that drivers don’t expect a stop sign on a thoroughfare they’ve driven on previously. She believes that suddenly coming upon one after rounding a nearby curve is a problem. And, she claims that both the Police Department and Fire Department agree with that assessment.
The Public Works Director said that she does believe that if residents keep pushing for a stop sign it may end up on a Board of Selectmen’s meeting agenda. Selectmen are the voting authority on town stop signs.
For the official safety report with recommendations, click here.