Bumpy crosswalks have Wellesley considering new designs

Wellesley Police Lt. Scott Showstead of the town’s traffic committee made his second presentation this month to the Select Board regarding possible new designs for crosswalks in rough shape at Church Street and Washington Street that could eventually find their way onto other crosswalks around town down the road.

The particular crosswalks at Church/Washington are in such bad condition that they’re noisy when vehicles bump over them, and neighbors have complained. Rather than just replacing the crosswalks with the same brick materials and design, the town is looking to use them as a sort of experiment for designs that could be used in other parts of town, including under the Wellesley Square streetscape redesign program that Town Meeting just approved a boatload of spending on.

(The crosswalk in question is nearby the notorious ghost crosswalk between the Belclare and Smith & Wollensky—a botched job on a temporary crosswalk during building construction has left the shadow of a crosswalk that can tempt pedestrians and confuse drivers.)

Select Board members have event made field trips to other communities, including Westwood, to check out their crosswalk designs and materials, some of which are applied right on top of the asphalt as opposed to cobbling together different materials like brick and granite that can separate and leave gaps.

The board discussed the issue for an hour at its April 9 meeting (see Wellesley Media recording), then devoted about another half hour on April 30.

There was some discussion about sticking with brick, as long as it wasn’t crummy replica brick, to stay consistent with Wellesley’s look. Though some on the board felt it was better to get a little wild since the change at this particular intersection could be temporary anyway, and see what the public and local businesses think. “Piloting something different is what’s going to get a response from the public,” Board Chair Tom Ulfelder said during the April 30 meeting (see Wellesley Media recording).

The board opted for a white and gray pattern with circles on it (Babson College has had green and white crosswalks with circles in the pattern).

There’s no exact timeline for the project yet, but it will likely take place this spring. A custom stencil for the crosswalks must be made. Removal of the existing crosswalk material would take place over a few nights.

Coming to a crosswalk near you
Coming to a crosswalk near you


 

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