Pedestrian Safety on Western Avenue & River Street
To the Honorable the City Council
To Robert Healy, City Manager
To Susan Clippinger, Director, Traffic, Parking & Transportation
WE, the undersigned hereby petition the City of Cambridge to take steps in order to ensure that the 25 mph speed limits on Western Avenue, in Riverside, and River Street, in Cambridgeport, are enforced. Further, we ask that adequate signage be installed that informs drivers of the speed limit on these streets. At present, the signage is minimal on these two roads. There are 3, perhaps 4 at the most, signs on either street which announce the 25 mph speed limit. It seems that it would be helpful to have a speed limit sign just after a street that feeds traffic onto Western and River, for instance, at Pleasant as traffic enters Western, and at Kelley/Howard where traffic enters River St.
Further, it has come to our attention that the Cambridge Police Department no longer uses the lighted mobile signs that tell drivers of their current speed while, at the same time, showing the speed limit. we have found those to be useful. Further, residents on and near these streets report that they rarely see any traffic enforcement on these two streets in recent years.
In addition, the pedestrian crossings on these streets are not adequately marked and there does not seem to be the required signage indicating a pedestrian crossing. Since traffic is traveling at about 35 – 45 mph in the vicinity of the pedestrian crossings, vehicles rarely stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Therefore, we request that adequate pedestrian crossing signage according to state and federal standards be installed on these streets and, in addition, that a weighted pedestrian crossing cone be installed on the pedestrian crossing at Pleasant Street and Western Avenue. Western Avenue has several school bus stops and crossing with children is dangerous.
We further, request that a traffic officer occasionally be assigned to that pedestrian crossing to stop traffic when a pedestrian or pedestrians want to cross Western Avenue. If done on a consistent basis, this action could lead to behavior modification by drivers using Western Avenue.
Further, we ask that louvered traffic signals be used so that drivers cannot see the color of the traffic signal until they are within a block of the signal. This will discourage speeding for 4-5 blocks in order to make a green light that is visible from 4 or 5 blocks away.