Open discussion thread

Ask questions, share opinions

Above: The weather’s been dreary for days – but forecasts have the sun breaking through starting tomorrow. (image of sunrise at Highland St cropped from photo shared by Lauren McCauliffe in 2020)

It’s time for another open thread.

What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

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John Kendall
1 year ago

While driving around town, I noticed how many residents (transfer station stickers give them away) drive on our narrow streets with reckless abandon. Middle Road, Mt. Vickery, Breakneck Hill, just to name a few. When I was a young kid living on Parkerville south, people drove slowly, knowing that kids were near or in the street. Now everyone just flies around. I spent 28 years on the Southborough Fire Department. I helped pull people, dead and alive from countless wrecks. My son now does the same thing. PLEASE SLOW DOWN!

Jay Mazur
10 months ago
Reply to  John Kendall

I fully agree with you, John! It might piss some people off, but I would actually be willing to start some sort of safety group with you to put an end to this. I will also admit that I have been guilty of this transgression myself, just to be fully transparent. Problem here? I’m not quite sure that being punitive will actually put an end to the behavior. It may lower the rate of incident, though.

David Parry
10 months ago
Reply to  John Kendall

Now that we have a new DPW Superintendent, we can all look forward to him soliciting residents’ opinions BEFORE he pronounces his decisions — for instance on how to slow down speeding traffic.
One solution, implemented when I was a Selectman 30 years ago, was to install “Speed Humps”, NOT “bumps”. This was under the reliable leadership of former DPW Superintendent John Boland. (We miss him so much). The distinction between humps and bumps is this: Humps have gradual slopes on each side, and they have a flat top which is so wide that, in some cases, a car can stand on all 4 wheels on the top of the flat hump. In Southborough the humps are only about 3 feet wide. So a hump is really a low, raised platform.
“Bumps”” on the other hand have a rounded top (like a half circle), and a very sharp slope each side, so the SHOCK they create when crossed over at SPEED is something to behold, — as you hear your muffler clank on the asphalt far behind, or the lumber (which you just bought at Home Depot and put in the back of your pick-up), goes flying over the hood in front of you. That’s what happens when you take a bump too damn fast. Bumps only work as intended where traffic must go extremely slowly, such as in parking lots.
The problem we have today in Southborough, with our few speed “humps”, is that they were installed on only one road, namely dead-straight Parkerville Rd north, and WITHOUT THE NECESSARY SIGNS TO WARN DRIVERS OF THE PRECISE LOCATION OF THE HUMP. There are warning signs saying “hump ahead” (far in advance of the hump), but there are no signs AT the exact location of the hump. The result is you don’t know when or where to slow down, especially at night. The result is stressed springs, loud bangs, woken abutters, and not much reduction in speed.
However, we can take comfort in the knowledge that other states have far more dramatic experiences with their own versions of humps and bumps.
Take Texas, for example. This State has downtown streets with 8 lanes, where some cowboys drive their cars as if they were broncos. In a futile attempt to reduce speeding through downtown Houston, they installed texan-sized (i.e. W I D E ) speed humps across all four corners of the most important downtown intersection. Taking this as a challenge, the cowboys did the exact opposite of what was intended — they put their feet hard down and ACCELERATED into the intersection, hit the “hump” at top speed, and flew across the entire intersection in one leap !
Needless to say, those speed humps were gone after one month. Texas has found that speed humps on PUBLIC highways are subject to constant abuse, such that most have been removed. But in contrast, speed humps are well tolerated on PRIVATE,roads which are to be found everywere in Texas., usually on vast. sprawling housing estates (some the size of counties in Mass). They are well tolerated for one simple reason — they are very clearly-identified. They are painted bright colors, which makes you notice them and slow down. The lesson? Good signage is the key to success.
Maybe our new DPW Superintendent will see to it that this type of signage is installed on Parkerville north. And if that works, then more humps can be installed on other roads (after residents have considered the options).
No implementation without representation.

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