Pedestrian Improvements Coming To Dedham Square
At the request of Dedham Square Circle, many residents, business owners and patrons of Dedham Square for improved safety for pedestrians crossing, the streets at the two major intersections of High Street at Washington Street and High Street at Eastern Avenue in Dedham Square, the Select Board requested that the Town's Engineering Department hire a consultant to study Dedham Square and develop options that would improve pedestrian safety at these intersections.
The Engineering Department hired BETA Group, Inc., in 2018 at which time they performed a traffic and pedestrian study at these intersections. Based upon the results of their study, they developed 3 options that would improve pedestrian safety crossing the street at these intersections. Details for the 3 options along with the results of the study can be found by clicking "here". The Select Board had a survey on the Town's website asking anyone interested to read the BETA report and then provide which option they thought would provide the best in terms of pedestrian safety. The results of the survey indicated that a majority of those that participated agreed with BETA's recommended option described below.
Of the 3 options, BETA recommended Option 3a which included changing the pedestrian phases to separate exclusive pedestrian phases for both intersections, along with "No Turn On Red" turn restrictions for all approaches to both intersections. Currently, only the intersection of High Street at Eastern Avenue operates under an exclusive pedestrian phase which means when the pedestrian light activates for crossing the street, all approaches to the intersection are stopped. The intersection of High Street at Washington Street currently operates as a concurrent pedestrian phase with a leading pedestrian interval which means that the pedestrian light activates a few seconds before the parallel vehicle phase turns green. To make this easier to understand, when High Street has the green light in both directions, the pedestrian lights for those who want to cross Washington Street are activated.
The Select Board recently voted in favor of BETA's recommended Option 3a. This option will be implemented in 2 phases. The first phase will consist of installing the "No Turn On Red" signs. These will be installed by the DPW sometime during the day on Monday 12/23 and will become immediately effective. Once installed all motorists will NOT be allowed to make right hand turns after coming to a complete stop. All must wait until the green light to enter the intersections. The second phase will be conducted in the first half of January where BETA will change the current phasing program in the traffic control box to install the separate exclusive pedestrian phases for both intersections. Once installed, BETA will be on-site for the next couple of days during peak morning and evening times to make any necessary adjustments to timing.
Please feel free to contact Jason Mammone, P.E., Director of Engineering for the Town of Dedham at 781-751-9350 should you have any questions regarding the upcoming improvements.