In an effort to make Marsh Street safer for pedestrians we are requesting the town of Belmont, MA place sidewalks or widen the road to accommodate foot and bike traffic.

The Town of Belmont has recently informed the residents of Marsh Street that paving will begin on the road. We feel it is an opportunity to make the road safer for everyone who uses it. While we welcome road improvement, we believe that the improved road conditions will bring more traffic and cause speed to increase on the road. There is a desperate need for sidewalks or wider roads to accommodate pedestrians, bikes, and wheelchairs on Marsh Street. There is also a school in a 20 mile an hour zone that is not adhered to by motorists. We have witnessed many vehicles that have traveled at speeds well beyond the marked speed limit. This is a perilous situation. It is also important to note that kids from all over Belmont access the fields and areas around the school. Everyone who attempts to use this roadway is under the threat of serious harm due to it being too narrow and the lack of sidewalks. A person on foot, a bike, or a disabled person can't proceed along the road safely. A traveling pedestrian can only move down this route by walking in the roadway itself or by hiking along a poorly graded, brushy side of the road, which becomes impossible in the winter months with snowbanks. Therefore, people are putting themselves and the moving vehicles in jeopardy. This road initially did not require sidewalks when the neighborhood was developed 40+ years ago. However, with the increase in traffic and GPS directional "cut-throughs," it has become increasingly dangerous. We recently had several accidents, including a child walking home from school, a neighbor on his bike that was hit and thrown, the driver did not stop, and many more. This is a fatality waiting to happen. I think we can all agree that having a safer road for everyone is imperative. We ask for your support by signing this petition to show the town the importance of safety for its residents and others using the road.

A recent letter from a neighbor to Town Engineer, Glenn Clancy:

________

Good morning: Thank you for your message. There are a few reasons why sidewalks will not be constructed on Marsh street under the repaving project. There is no money in the budget to construct new sidewalks.  The Town does not have the funding available to maintain the sidewalks that already exist. Constructing new sidewalk to the extent you describe is not possible. New sidewalks require the abutting private property owner to clear all ice and snow after weather events.  This is a General Bylaw of the Town and since a new sidewalk would impose this requirement on property owners, some do not want this added responsibility. Accessibility laws requires sidewalks to be an accessible path of travel. In order for a sidewalk to meet handicap accessibility standards the sidewalk must lead somewhere that is accessible to someone in a wheelchair or suffering some other disability. There is no way to do this on Marsh Street since there are no other sidewalks in the vicinity to connect to westerly along Marsh Street. Some abutting property owners prefer the “rural” look of no sidewalks and will not support constructing sidewalks. Respectfully, Glenn R. Clancy, P.E.Town Engineer

 

 


Marsh Street Residents for a Safer Road    Contact the author of the petition

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