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Town Wide Transportation Data Gathering

March 15, 2017

Transportation Working Group CoverAt a recent meeting of the Selectmen, the Transportation Working Group provided a presentation on efforts to identify traffic data sources in Town and begin to organize and collect that data for future transportation improvements. Made up of public safety officials, and staff from Town Departments, the working group has created a process for sharing data across Departments that can then be used by hired consultants or the Town to make more meaningful assessments of traffic and safety conditions throughout Town.  The presentation to the Selectmen from February 28th, outlines some of those efforts and highlights the further application of the data.

Of the next steps listed in the presentation, is the creation of a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan.  Residents will be reviewing a capital item at the upcoming May Town Meeting regarding the funding for and completion of the plan, which will utilize a combination of traffic data and public input to assess priority locations for pedestrian, bike and traffic safety improvements. As an added bonus, the funding required for the creation of the plan is completely reimbursable by the state. A table from a similar Complete Streets plan completed in another Massachusetts Town can be seen in the presentation.

For more information on Complete Streets, take a look at MassDOT’s program page for Complete Streets.  Once a community creates a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan, they enter into Tier 3 of the Program and are eligible for up to $400,000 annually to implement identified improvements.  For more information on the types of projects that have been funded, explore Tier 3 Construction Awards at the above link.  Communities as close as Littleton, have been awarded funds to make improvements to their road network.  As you think about what improvements could be proposed here in Stow, keep in mind that Stow’s Complete Streets Policy requires a careful balance of safety improvements, environmental considerations and historic community character.  So what may be proposed in one Town may not have the same look and feel here in Stow.

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