Eliot Street to get lights, upgraded crosswalks

April 1, 2011
By

Rebeca Oliveira

PONDSIDE—Work began this week on a pedestrian crossing and traffic flow upgrade at Eliot Street and the Jamaicaway.

The project’s aims are to improve access to Jamaica Pond while increasing pedestrian and bicyclist safety and calming vehicular traffic. A new set of traffic lights will be installed and pedestrian crossings will be upgraded on all three sides of the intersection.

Construction work will use noise-suppression devices and hours will be limited to between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Lane closures on the Jamaicaway will run irregularly between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with at least one lane open each way, until the project is finished.

The crossing will feature “red signal ahead” signs on the eastbound side of the Jamaicaway, an extension of the median island to discourage illegal left-hand turns, and curb relocation to better define the eastbound lanes. The new crossing will also have patterned pavement markings instead of zebra stripes.

There will be a two-month adjustment period in July and August to fine-tune the timing of the traffic light for pedestrians and vehicles.

The project is expected to be completed by August.

Perkins Street crossing
Meanwhile, a proposed crossing on Parkman Drive and Perkins Street is stalled, pending future funding.

“It’s not going forward right now,” said Joseph Orfant, chief of bureau of planning and resource protection at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The cost of the project is more than DCR has available in this fiscal year, he continued.

A community meeting concerning the massive overhaul of all pedestrian crossings in the Emerald Necklace, postponed from January, is expected to happen in early spring, according to Patrice Kish, director of the Office of Cultural Resources.

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