Milton Select Board does not support current Route 28/Chickatawbut roundabout design proposed by MassDOT
Select Board members ask MassDOT to pause design until additional traffic report shared, study complete
On Thursday, July 6, 2023, the Select Board approved sending this letter to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation regarding the proposed project at Route 28 (Randolph Ave) and Chickatawbut Road. The Select Board’s comments included: the need for immediate short-term improvements because of the safety issues that exist at this intersection, a request for a site visit to better understand the concerns of residents, particularly abutters who live near to and travel on Randolph Ave, and appreciation for MassDOT’s announcement of a corridor traffic study which had been requested by the Town previously.
The Select Board also wrote, “At this time, the Select Board cannot support the final roundabout design and is asking that MassDOT pause its design and permitting work on the proposed roundabout design until additional traffic report information is shared with the Town and until the completion of the Route 28 Corridor Traffic Study.”
Dear Secretary Fiandaca,
On behalf of the Milton Select Board, we thank you for the opportunity to provide further feedback and comments regarding the project at the intersection of Route 28 (Randolph A venue) and Chickatawbut Road in Milton.
We would like to thank Josh Bartus and Steven Tyler and Jessica Lizza from Howard Stein Hudson (“HSH”) for joining the Milton Select Board meeting on June 27, 2023, to provide a project update and answer questions related to the current design. Mr. Bartus informed the Select Board that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (“MassDOT”) has continued progress towards I 00% design and is preparing various submittals for permitting and land acquisition.
Based on the information we have received to date, it is not likely that construction on the roundabout would begin within the next year, and perhaps much longer than that. Despite acknowledging the immediate danger this intersection poses as one of the state’s top crash locations, and despite our repeated requests, MassDOT has not brought forward material improvements that could be implemented prior to the reconstruction project.
We believe that it is critically important, and we ask again, that MassDOT make immediate material changes to improve safety at this intersection by implementing all available alternatives, including but not limited to changing signal timing, incorporating left-hand tum signals, and leveling the incline of the road approaching the intersection from the south.
Mr. Bartus and the representatives from HSH also informed the Select Board that MassDOT has engaged HSH for a corridor traffic study to determine short-term and medium-term safety and mobility improvements, analyze alternatives in MPO Route 28 Corridor Study, and conduct road safety audits at the intersection of Route 28 at Reedsdale and Route 28 at Hallen A venue. It will include the development of conceptual sketches and planning level cost estimates for up to 3 corridor alternatives and alternative control strategies at up to 5 critical study area intersections will be explored at the concept level.
We are grateful that MassDOT is moving forward on a corridor traffic study. The lack of solutions and alternatives for the Route 28 corridor has been one of our main concerns for this project and the Town has requested that MassDOT address both speeding and traffic volume issues on Route 28. However, we believe it is more prudent to complete a corridor study prior to completing design or constructing the roundabout. Such a change in traffic conditions will have impacts throughout the Route 28 Corridor and changes should be looked at holistically rather than as separate, independent projects.
In order for MassDOT to better understand the concerns of local residents and for us to better understand how the project fits with the needs of those who live near and travel on that road, we request that MassDOT schedule a site meeting and that MassDOT provide detailed traffic report information regarding the alternative options for the Route 28 and Chickatawbut Road intersection.
At this time, the Select Board cannot support the final roundabout design and is asking that MassDOT pause its design and permitting work on the proposed roundabout design until additional traffic report information is shared with the Town and until the completion of the Route 28 Corridor Traffic Study.
Again, thank you for your attention to our questions and concerns. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Town Administrator Nicholas Milano at [email protected].
Michael F. Zullas, Chair on behalf of the Milton Select Board:
Erin G. Bradley, Vice-Chair
Roxanne Musto, Secretary
Richard G. Wells, Jr., Member
Benjamin Zoll, Member
Senator Walter F. Timilty
Representative William J. Driscoll Representative
Brandy Fluker Oakley