The Town has posted results of a study on Deerfoot and Flagg Road safety issues. Engineers confirmed safety issues for pedestrians, especially school aged children, along the streets.
Describing roads that feel unsafe, they called for improvements. Consultants incorporated past data showing 85% of drivers exceed 38 mph on the 30 mph road.
Recommendations included sidewalks, reconfiguration of intersections and “traffic calming measures”. The only measures advised for the roads were speed humps on Flagg Road and speed feedback signs. They also suggested painting center yellow lines down both roads.
The study was solicited by the Town in response to residents concerns about the impacts of future traffic from pending developments at Park Central. The Zoning Board of Appeals hired consultants to study the safety issues and make recommendations.
(As part of the approval process for the proposed 40B project, developer Capital Group is footing the bill. But the consultants were hired by and work for the Town of Southborough.)
The study was completed and submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 9th. Last week, the document was posted to the Town’s Highway Department website.
roadway improvements are justified along the corridors to address excessive vehicle speeds and pedestrian safety issues. The traffic data documented herein indicates vehicles are traveling at excessive rates of speed beyond the legally enforceable posted speed limits. Additionally, the use the study area roadways as a commuting corridor is apparent. Recommended improvements include the addition of sidewalks, intersection reconfigurations and the implementation of strategic traffic calming measures.
Of primary concern is the safety of vulnerable, non-motorized roadway users. There is a direct correlation with vehicle speed and pedestrian safety; as speeds increase, fatalities and serious injuries increase.
Given the lack of sidewalks, and in some segments a roadside clear zone, any pedestrian activity typically takes place directly within the travel way. As the vehicle speeds recorded along the corridor average approximately 30 mph, with operational speeds (85th percentile) upwards of 38 mph, vehicle traffic is often a constant threat to vulnerable roadway users. As a result pedestrian activity along these roadways feels unsafe, requires constant vigilance and generally disincentives walking. This is particularly concerning given the presence of school age children.
Enforcement efforts alone are not a sustainable solution to address roadway safety related to vehicle speed; physical geometric changes are necessary to self-enforce slow speeds and desired behaviors for when police are not present.
For the full report, click here.