Liz Larsen 0

Make College Heights safer with lower speed limits and resident-only restrictions

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We, the undersigned residents of the College Heights neighborhood in Wellesley, MA, are extremely concerned about the safety of our roads. In recent months there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of traffic within our neighborhood, and many drivers are travelling at speeds that pose a serious danger to pedestrians and bikers. An implied speed limit of 30 mph (as is the law in the absence of other signage) is not safe - especially given the narrowness of our streets and lack of sidewalks.

The root cause of this problem points to the fact that traffic backups on Route 9 and Weston Road (exacerbated by the non-functioning slip-lane at the intersection of Weston Road and Linden Street) result in commuter traffic being directed into the College Heights neighborhood via Waze and other smartphone traffic avoidance apps. These apps look at current traffic situations and provide alternate routes for drivers based on optimizing open roadways and travelling speeds. The College Heights neighborhood is currently open to all traffic at all times, and the implied speed limit of 30 mph makes our streets the primary roadways where Waze and other apps send drivers to avoid traffic. As a result, high volumes of commuters enter our neighborhood, already frustrated and angry from sitting in traffic, and in a rush to get to their final destination as quickly as possible. Something must be done to address this dangerous driving situation before an accident involving a serious injury or death occurs.

In order to address the root cause of the problem, we propose that lower speed limit signs be posted within the College Heights neighborhood, and that entry points to the College Heights neighborhood during high volume traffic periods be restricted to residents only. This is the only way to preclude Waze and other traffic avoidance apps from directing high volumes of commuter traffic into our neighborhood, and to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bikers.

To that end, we hereby petition that the Town of Wellesley implement the following safety measures in order to restore safety to the College Heights neighborhood:

1) Establish all streets within the College Heights neighborhood as 15 mph speed zones and affix signage to reflect this speed limit. This includes Curve St., Howe St., Granite St., and Harvard St.

2) Establish all roads within the College Heights neighborhood as 20 mph speed zones and affix signage to reflect this speed limit. This includes Crest Rd., Sunset Rd., Summit Rd., Crown Ridge Rd., Ivy Rd., Maurice Rd., and Avon Rd.

3) Establish neighborhood entry points as "resident only" during peak traffic periods of 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.

4) Affix stop signs at the intersection of Harvard St. and Curve St. and at the intersection of Harvard St. and Sunset Rd.

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