Transportation Committee (TC) Minutes of 3-7-24

Next meeting: 8:30 am, Tuesday, April 16 or Thursday, April 18, 2024 

Present: Mary Day Mordecai (chair), Barbara Watkins, Ned Hulbert, Erin Hammerstedt, Earl Horn, Steve LaMears (Police Chief).   Absent:  Don Scott

  • Welcome to Russ Cobb – our new TC member!
  • Update on performance of school speed radars – Steve and Earl reported small issues with radars, “ghost times” with beacons going off-program at odd times. They will follow up with vendor if problem continues after switching to Daylight Savings Time. 
  • Updates on Church Street and Hancock Road projects – the Town Committee’s work on Church St/Church Alley is done until Town Meeting articles are voted on.

Hancock Rd signage and improvements – TC is waiting for spring and for budget approval at Town Meeting to talk with Wes about new posts, signs etc. to be put up on Hancock Rd. 

  • TC’s Final report for 2021 MAST grant to submitted by March 15 to SWRPC
  • Performance metrics
    • Traffic speeds
      • Police stops data – Police Chief has data
      • Letter from Police Chief – Steve will write in support of project
      • Data from speed radars: e.g.: time of day comparison (school zone times)

Earl will generate data report. 

  • Perception of Safety
    • Safe Routes to School survey – Erin and Mary Day have developed survey that Kate Abbott, Principal of Wells Memorial, will email to parents. Grant said that survey would focus on:
  • Pedestrians/bicyclists on Chesham Road in school area
  • Pedestrians/bicyclists cross Chesham Road from Brown Road
  • Drivers, including school buses, moving in both directions on Chesham
  • Survey will also be posted online through the town Facebook site. 
  • Outreach and Education
    • Articles in Common Threads – two have been posted lately
    • Community Conversations – not needed
    • Town’s Facebook page – nice update has been posted
    • School: monthly newsletter and website – permanent school website entry posted
    • Staying in touch with SB, PB, town staff, Harrisville Trails, Wells Memorial School, businesses in Chesham Road neighborhood – has been done
    • Police to partner with school to offer safe bicycling and walking discussions for students; not as much done as anticipated because Safe Routes to School grant was discontinued. Police Chief got grant for 25 bike helmets, which he left for kids at Wells Memorial. 
  • Process for reaching agreement on TC role and job description: In April Mary Day and Ned will discuss in advance with PB co-chairs, then at PB and SB April meetings. 
  • How will this committee determine what it needs to focus on during the next couple of years? At its April meeting, TC will discuss the plan for its future agenda. TC need its new members here for this discussion.  Mary Day will confirm when they can be present at our April Meeting (two possible dates proposed for April 16 or April 18). 
  • Need to let JB Mack at SWRPC know when we want a Complete Streets orientation. TC will contact  JB after its April meeting to propose dates for SWRPC to conduct an orientation in May. 
  • Police Chief updated TC on two items:

-Grants for Infrastructure Repair (after extreme weather events) are now more accessible/easy for Town to get reimbursement

-Town’s radios will soon operate better: A county-built cell tower is going up on Cobb Hill Estate property.  Ultimately it may also give residents better cell coverage if cell carriers use the tower for their antennae.