New Raised Cross Walks on College Street

Raised cross walks were installed in 4 locations along College as traffic calming measures. The need for traffic calming became especially clear last year after two separate accidents between cars and pedestrians trying to cross College Street. The crosswalks, at Boltwood, near Music, at Seelye Street, and at Dickinson Street are the main feature of a pedestrian crossing zone established at the northern edge of campus. Other features of this zone are signs, including lighted signs at the both ends of the zone, paint on the pavement, reflectors, and lights in the pavement that flash when a pedestrian activates them before crossing. This pedestrian zone is set up to remind drivers to expect crossing pedestrians and to encourage crossing pedestrians to use the established walks and warning lights.

The next stage of this project is scheduled for South Pleasant Street. South Pleasant Street presents different challenges for creating a successful, safe and accessible interface between motorists and pedestrians. The process for coming up with the best design will include, again, reviews by various Town boards, the Select Board, the Accessibility Committee, Transportation Cokmity, the Planning Board, and the Design Review Board as well as the close scrutiny of the Town Manager's office, DPW, AFD, and APD. The input from these various groups proved to be invaluable to the College Street project.

In 2003 the intersection at Seelye Street was raised as a prototype and in 2004 we used our experience with it to design the three others. Also the experience helped the design for remodeling the Seelye Street prototype. The final design was also informed by studies in several cities of speed tables and speed bumps. We were able to pick a geometry that established a comfortable vehicular speed that matched the speed limit, 35 mph, encouraging drivers under all traffic conditions to travel no faster than that. Cities that install these speed tables as a matter of course include; Sarasota, Charlotte, Providence, Boulder, Bellevue (WA), and Seattle.

The geometry of the ramps leading to the cross walk and the material in the walk are all chosen for their visual impact, to pedestrians and motorists, and to aid snow removal and maintenance of the walks. The combination of white lines and granite delineating a brick walking surface is widely recognized as a pedestrian way and reflects the design used in the town's center. The different textures of the materials help guide people with visual impairments and, since the walk is raised to the level of the curb, the height of the walk improves accessibility for people with challenged mobility.