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