Comments on Conte School Renovation

Comments on Conte School Renovation

To: Amanda Chilson, MiM Coordinator, North Berkshire Coalition

From: Stacey Beuttell, WalkBoston

June 28, 2013

Re: Pedestrian issues to be considered in Conte School renovation

Dear Amanda:

Below are some initial thoughts on the site plan for the Conte School renovation. While there are some improvements that we would suggest to make the pedestrian environment safer, the proposed plan does improve the current conditions by replacing the surface parking in front of the school with a new playground. There is also improved separation between the vehicular drop-off zone and the thru-traffic along E. Main Street.

When reading this analysis, please remember that I have not visited the site, nor am I aware of whether or not I am evaluating the most recent site plans (see attached).

Some suggestions to consider:

• Students crossing E. Main Street at the major crossing point must cross two to three additional lanes of traffic in the drop-off zone before reaching the sidewalk nearest the playground area. The design drawings do not show cross walks, speed table, or bulb-outs in the bus and car drop-off areas. Buses and cars must not stop in designated crosswalk.

• Students walking from the north along the east side of E. Main Street must cross the car and bus dropoff zones before entering the school. We would suggest providing sidewalk along the northern edge of the parking lot and an alternative crossing point marked with a crosswalk from northern sidewalk to sidewalk adjacent to the bus drop-off. This crossing point would minimize the number of times these children will cross travel lanes.

• Traffic must be one-way into the school drop-off zone from the northern entrance along E. Main Street.

• Traffic leaving the parking lot should be directed through the drop off zones (at least during peak hours) to minimize potential gridlock and collisions.

• Crossing guards should be considered at all crosswalks adjacent to the school (both vehicular entrances and across the drop-off zones).

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about these suggestions. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

Stacey Beuttell, WalkBoston
Program Director

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