Selectmen to Hear DPW Transportation Program Update ~ Monday, November 19

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

At the Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, November 19, the Department of Public Works intends to present its FY19/FY20 Transportation Program Update.

The presentation to the Selectmen has four basic tenets to inform project design. The principles guided recent changes to the Rte 62 / Old Billerica Road intersection

  1. The program should respond to changing traffic demands. Transportation demand is high both within the Town and with commuters passing through the Town. At the same time, programs such as Waze direct vehicle drivers onto roadways that in the past may not have seen as high traffic volumes or speeds;
  2. The program should design to the Town’s plans and policies. The Town established the Great Road Streetscape Master Plan in 2012, the Pedestrian + Bicycle Plan in 2015, and adopted its Complete Streets Policy in 2015. These plans and policies should inform and direct the program design;
  3. The program should aim for roadway design speeds between 25 and 30 MPH. The Town has adopted a town-wide speed limit of 25 MPH unless a speed study has been performed in the past and a segment of road is posted otherwise. Numerous studies have identified the danger to pedestrians and bicyclists when involved in accidents where speeds exceeded 30 MPH. Therefore roadways with speeds posted over 30 MPH have become the focus of design efforts to improve safety; and
  4. The program should prioritize outgoing traffic over incoming traffic. When a compromise between the flow of traffic out of the center versus into the center of Bedford needs to be made, the program will tend to prioritize the outgoing traffic. This prioritization improves flow out of the downtown area in order to nominally relieve traffic in those areas with the highest pedestrian and bicycle use. DPW also believes this will have the tendency to discourage the use of Bedford as a cut-through route for those for whom Bedford is not their destination.

A pair of upcoming projects will be part of the presentation to the Selectmen:

  • The completion of the Great Road streetscape and the possible inclusion of separated bike lanes, and
  • The improvement of the North Road/ Chelmsford Road intersection.

The DPW has developed capital and operating requests to cover a wide variety of roadway-related infrastructure work, including the following categories:

1) Transportation improvements

  • Funding: Capital budget, Chapter 90 funds, and Complete Streets
  • Sample Projects: New or improved transportation infrastructure and major intersection improvements such as bike lanes; raised crosswalks; and bus shelters

2) Maintenance of existing roadways

  • Funding: Operating Budget and Chapter 90 funds
  • Sample Projects: Microsurfacing overlays; mill & overlay; cold in place recycling reclamation

3) Construction of new sidewalks

  • Funding: Capital budget and Chapter 90 funds
  • Sample Projects: Sidewalks connecting existing sidewalks and sidewalks to trails; multi-use paths

4) Maintenance of existing sidewalks

  • Funding: Capital budget
  • Sample Projects: Repair of existing asphalt or concrete updates for ADA/ AAB compliance

The attachments in the DPW’s 54-page PDF include (Click this link to read/download/print the FY 2020 Paving Plan as a PDF)

  • November 19 Presentation slides
  • Old Billerica Road design memo
  • Old Billerica Road Intersection Comparison graphic (1 page)
  • Town of Bedford Complete Streets Policy (2 pages)
  • Excerpts from Town of Bedford Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, including maps, tables & graphic of Great Road at Shawsheen Avenue (7 pages)
  • Graphic from Great Road Master Plan – North Road at Carlisle Road (1 page)
  • Graphics from North Road Intersection Study – North Road at Chelmsford Road & North Road at Pine Hill Road (2 pages)
  • Excerpt from Federal Highway Administration Intersection Safety Manual “Skewed Intersections” (3 pages)
  • The Bedford Citizen Article, “Route 62 Realignment Creates Better Sight Lines for Drivers and a Larger, Safer Garden Space” (2 pages)
  • Great Road separated bike lane design concepts
  • Design Summary for North Road at Chelmsford Road


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