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Still no answer for speeding on Howard Avenue in Greenfield

May 28, 2014

A proposal to replace a controversial mid-block traffic circle with a raised intersection to slow down speeders met with a lukewarm reception from neighborhood residents at Greenfield's Board of Public Works meeting Tuesday.

The city and residents have struggled for months to come up with a way to slow speeders down on a portion of Howard Avenue. The circle is between 39th and 40th streets. Residents had many objections to the circle, with the main one being that they have lost street parking in front of their homes where the circle is. They also said the circle creates a safety hazard and doesn't work that well to slow traffic.

The raised intersection is a gentler version of speed bumps or speed tables. Cars go up an incline into the intersection and down to street level on the other side. Objections to the raised intersection focused mainly on bumpouts included in the plan. Bumpouts would narrow the intersection so drivers slow down.

However, the bumpouts would take away two parking spaces on each side of the intersection. Officials had argued that the homes losing the spaces are at corners and can park on the side street.

The staff will come back to the board July 22 with alternatives. They might include a version of the raised intersection, raised crosswalks, a more sophisticated form of a mid-block traffic circle, more speed limit signs, some with LED lights, or even speed bumps, Sokol said after the meeting.

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