- Tom Sgouros
Round and roundabout
Town Council president Greg Mancini had a letter to the editor published in this week's Independent about the intersection of Brown and Philips Streets that is slated to be replaced with a rotary next year. Go read it the whole thing, but here's a piece of it:
DOT consultants reviewed the intersection’s history over a thee year period. During this time there were 14 crashes, eight were “rear ends,” five angle crashes, one off the road, and one head-on accident. They reviewed and analyzed these crashes, speeds traveled, site distance, and other relevant factors. Local businesses and observers will tell you that there were also numerous close calls for both vehicles and pedestrians. Consequently, these public safety officials unanimously concluded that this is a very dangerous intersection, and something needed to be done before someone gets seriously hurt.
At our Sept. 28, 2020 town council meeting the DOT presented their findings and the possibility of a three-way stop sign as a solution. We asked for public input. Five residents spoke as did our public safety officials. Several residents endorsed the three-way stop sign. However, one resident believed this proposed solution would result in back-ups on Brown and Philips streets that would lead to drivers using Elam Street as a cut through street to avoid the intersection. The local public safety officials that spoke expressed significant concerns due to safety.
The fire department said they were concerned “a three way [stop sign] or traffic light will have a negative effect on their ability to get through that intersection during heavy traffic times.”
The process we used to come to our conclusion is how this council operates. When an issue is identified, we listen to our own municipal employee experts, listen to additional independent experts if need be (here the STC, DOT, and their outside national consultants), then we listen to the public, debate the matter, and then make an informed decision that is based on the record. This is not only what we have done in this case instance, but previous instances also. And it is what we will do in the future because that is what the citizens of our community have elected us to do—make informed decisions that are in the best interests of our community.