Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just Say No

East Pleasant/Triangle intersection, gateway to UMass

The Amherst Select Board responded Monday to Town Meeting's in your face 95-77 passage of an "advisory article" undoing five years worth of work by DPW staff and hard-working volunteer committees:

Drop dead!  (Or something like that).

 Vince O'Connor led the charge on the advisory petition to sabotage roundabout

After an hour of discussion including DPW Director Guilford Mooring and Public Works Committee Chair Christine Gray-Mullen the Select Board unanimously decided to stay with the roundabout concept rather than take the advice of Town Meeting and simply tweak the current traffic signals.

Mr. Mooring pointed out in order to see any improvement in the traffic lights phasing a new electrical cabinet and poles would need to be installed at a cost of between $140,000 - $200,000.

Ms. Mullen added that a roundabout is far safer than a traditional lighted intersection reducing fatalities by 90% and collisions with pedestrians by 40%.

 Christine Gray-Mullen and Guilford Mooring present to Amherst Select Board

Since work has been ongoing since Spring and all the concrete for the roundabout ordered and paid for the completion of the roundabout itself will only be another $250,000-$300,000.  That will come out of Ch 90 money which does not require Town Meeting approval.

Last year Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported an easement from Bank of America to assist with the roundabout and the town already cut down five trees at the corner of Kendrick Park.

A state $1.5 million Massworks grant is paying for the undergrounding of utility lines and pole removal near this intersection and the DPW did much of the work in-house to save money that will be applied to the roundabout.

Eversource is expected to be done with pole removal by March and the DPW will work full-time through the spring and summer, but take a brief break during graduations.  The overall roundabout should be completely by September 1st.

 The north end of downtown is being revitalized


32 comments:

Anonymous said...

A roundabout will do great service for obnoxious or drunk drivers-think of it as a monument defying all the blowhard they produce every time they kill an innocent by DWI- kinda like a physical breathalyzer-had one to many-get caught-instantly !!! Driving home from uptown bars -puts funkiness in check !!!???$$$

Anonymous said...

I hope it's well lit. Those crosswalks will be trouble on weekend nights. That roundabout on the UMass campus is pretty sketchy even during the daytime. Not to mention how many people just waltz out into the street without looking.

Anonymous said...

Man, I love to see Vince lose. Which he often does because he's a LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Is this version cheaper to town taxpayers than the original proposed roundabout? It seems the message from town meeting lately is that taxpayers dont want to pay for the most expensive solutions/buildings.

Anonymous said...

Which is just why the Jones library mega--expansion should be a no-go-just a waste of taxpayer money for some daft spaz's !!!!?$&@

Anonymous said...

The DPW doing the work saves no money. They are very inefficient and should stick to lawn mowing and pothole filling!

Anonymous said...

!!!!?$&@,

Please do us all a favor and make an attempt at adding appropriate punctuation to your tirades.

Thanks in advance,
Everyone

Anonymous said...

The problem is that there’s little or no trust between Town Meeting members and the Select, Planning and School boards.

This is especially true since the Charter commission got rolling and all the weirdness around the $67 million mega school project (School Committee folks sayings Fort River is a deteriorating moldy cavern, then a TM parent with a kid there does a slide showing current photos of how great the school is, and so on..)

I imagine the distrust runs in both directions. Won’t it be moot (irrelevant) when the Charter commission recommendation is voted on town-wide and dissolves all current governing bodies?

But be careful what you wish for. Those promoting such a course with a new town government may look back on the select board/TM days as the halcyon epoch of town government. Sidelined residents are showing some signs of effective political organization.

Rebecca Casa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The planning board is showing signs of responding to citizen concerns, trying to overcome the years of distrust created by the past planning dept director-who was 'retired' by the town manager for good reason. Most articles passed town meeting. The select board and school committee seem to be in denial about the unpopular $67 million school project. The no votes cut across all town meeting lines. In the ballot box, a majority of voters did not support it. Who is out of touch and putting the blame on town meeting? Town meeting vote reflected Nov. 8 voter. I think many taxpayers think town meeting got it right.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca our homegrown experts aren't so expert...I guess...I guess department heads just know who to consult...there is room for a consultant consultant!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Vincent J. O'Connor in your future, dear friends....

Dr. Ed said...

Rebecca, your police department is why a lot of folks simply don't trust someone to make a decision....

Anonymous said...

Use intellect- not petty quibbles about Apple Auto Wod Correct ..dumb blonde objection-but ..OOPS !..that's " Un -P.C."..Our Bad...?!$&@

Anonymous said...

Says Mr. Ed from his mom's cellar with hands down his pants !!

Rebecca Casa said...

Edited- I would like to stop paying millions on consultants, I miss the old days when someone could and would make a decision.. get estimates and ideas from local contractors and go with it. Why pay extra ?

Anonymous said...

Where is your LIKE button? So glad the Select Board was willing to override this ill advised TM decision. Only wish there was an override option for the school funding/renovation decision. Children and taxpayers are going to pay dearly for a long time because of this other ill advised TM vote. IMHO

Anonymous said...

Ed needs to see the business end of a police night stick!

Dr. Ed said...

We all need to ask CAN-9:18 how he types while both hands are down his pants.
He/she/it must be some sort of intrepid genius.

ScottRAB said...

First cost is the wrong way to compare projects. It would be like buying a car without knowing the fuel economy or safety of the thing, just its price to buy.

Present Value Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is the best way to compare two or more choices. When comparing modern roundabouts to signals for a 20-year life cycle (the standard period), modern roundabouts usually cost less. Costs to compare include: first cost (design/land/construction), operation and maintenance (electricity, re-striping, upgrades, etc.), crash reduction (what’s your/your family’s safety worth?), daily delay (what’s your time worth?), daily fuel consumption (spend much on gas?), point source pollution (generated by stopped vehicles = health cost), area insurance rates (this costs more where it is less safe to drive). Each of these things, and others, can be estimated for any two choices and everyone near or using the project area will pay some portion of all of these costs (and also gain benefits).

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, that too.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you live in Maine. Keep your nose out of other people's business.

Dr. Ed said...

I'll make the point that scottRAB doesn't: it not only takes a LOT less fuel to keep a vehicle moving than to stop it and then start it again, but engines (particularly Diesels) pollute a whole lot more in the process.

Hence not only do you have pollution from idling vehicles, but you have a total waste of the kinetic energy when the vehicle stops for the red light AND the need to rebuild the kinetic energy when the light turns green. If it can be done safely, it's far better to keep the vehicle moving.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to the original post,

Thank you, Larry, for your reporting on this. The time we spent in Town Meeting on the warrant article was a waste.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Actually Ed..your wrong again.
todays diesel engines are cleaner than convention gas engines, but don't worry about the facts
Mom, can you come downstairs and make my bed..

Anonymous said...

I do not live in Amherst, but I invest more there every day than most citizens. Amherst is a welfare town, sucking up more money than it can produce, needing state funding, most citizens recieving public funding, esp parents. Such places owe all taxpayers and those people that finance you, like ed, should be thanked, not insulted.

Think about how many of you could not even afford to educate your own children...but make fun of ed, laughable.

Anonymous said...

Rather threatening hate speech from 1232.

Anonymous said...

Bullying Ed is a way of life for some of the ...well...bullies who write here.

Anonymous said...

Stop trying to control Ed, you freak. Do you think you're the only one with the right to speak here?

Dr. Ed said...

Actually Ed..your wrong again. todays diesel engines are cleaner than convention gas engines...

Diesel engines are designed to run at a constant RPM -- no matter how clean they are, there is going to be more pollution as you work your way up through 5, 10 (or more) gears than if you didn't have to.

Not to mention having to replace the energy used in heating up the brake pads...

It also depends on how you define "clean", and Diesels inherently have fine particulate matter that neither gasoline nor Propane/Methane (CNG) engines do.

Yes, Diesels are cleaner -- and a bus has gone from 10-12 MPG (in the 1980's) to 3-4 MPG today....

Anonymous said...

Vince said the right stuff. He researches proposed projects more than anyone else in the Town Meeting. Try to listen to his ideas. Sometimes he is correct and on this item, he is!
So much money is wasted by Town Meeting without even thinking about it. It is always so much easier to spend other people's money.
Something tells me this behavior will be coming to an end...and soon! Politics as we have known it is a changin' and it can't happen too soon.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy that the roundabout will be safer than traffic lights for pedestrians. As someone already mentioned, the roundabout on North Pleasant at the top of UMass is already pretty dicey. Drivers wheeling through a roundabout have a hard time seeing pedestrians walking in the crosswalks located right at the exit of the roundabout. The placement of such crosswalks doesn't make any sense to me