Walpole Planning Board Workshop
May 23, 2017
Town Hall -7 pm
Present: Robert Miller, Vice-Chair, James Aldrich, Secretary, Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative, Joanna Andros.
Also at the meeting were and Mari Brunner, planning technician with Southwest Regional Planning Commission, who was there to work with the Board on the Complete Streets Project, and Henry Underwood, GIS specialist with the organization, who is replacing Liz Kelly on the project.
Ms. Brunner received a copy of the Complete Streets Policy signed by the Selectboard members Cheryl Mayberry and Peggy Pschirrer.
Demonstration for Old Home Day. The Selectboard turned down two of the three projects planned for Old Home Days. The Selectboard thought the crosswalk from High Street to the other side of the road was too dangerous. They gave the speed cars driving up from the school as a reason for turning it down. They also thought the trial for back-in parking may be too confusing.
The Planning Board didn’t quite agree with the Selectboard saying that during the parade, there will be more people milling around that area than going fast down Main Street and around the corner from the Old Home Day Committee viewing stand and it was simply trying out the crosswalk to see if it would be an improvement because so many people cross the road there anyway. Both Mr. Aldrich and Ms. Andros remember a crosswalk there when they walked to school. The proposed faux sidewalk going around the corner from Westminster Street to the end of the Mascoma parking lot will stay.
The group talked about several alternatives: a bike lane on the east or west side of Main Street in the Center of Town, a bike lane going down to the school,a strategy for slowing down cars coming up Main Street from the school to the center of town. Ms. Brunner will send three alternatives to each Planning Board member and then the members will choose the one he/she thinks best. She’d also like that member to explain what elements of the plan they like.
Ms. Brunner passed out booklets about Complete Streets Planning and Designing Guidelines. The pamphlet contained information on the type of streets (slow streets, connector streets, transition zones and rural streets). There was also information on parking, travel lanes, bicycle lanes and sharrows (painted bicycle symbols that serve as a visual reminder to motorists that bicyclists share the road).
Also included was information on design considerations for sidewalks, lighting, street furnishings including bicycle racks, trees and signage. After reading the booklet, there’s a section on implementation. The 30-page booklet will be the topic for the next meeting.
It was suggested that the secretary contact the Police Chief to see if he could come to the next meeting to discuss trouble spots on streets in Walpole.
Bike Racks: The delivery date for the bicycle racks is Wednesday, May 30, between 2 and 3 pm. The racks for the town will be delivered to the Walpole Town Highway Department. The racks slated to go to businesses or other addresses will be delivered directly to those addresses.
The next Complete Streets meeting will be June 27 at 7 pm in the basement conference room.
Marilou Blaine, Recording Secretary