Tonight, the Public Safety and Transportation committee will discuss steps to make Newton Corner safer that are short of major reconstruction (item #60-05) (PDF). I assume the committee is not precluding eventual reconstruction, but looking for short-term improvements.
I'm not sure that anything short of major reconstruction is going to help the pedestrian situation. There's too much traffic, going too fast, having to make too many decisions. It's not a recipe for pedestrian friendliness.
But, I do think there's something to do to cure some of the congestion on the bridge east of the hotel. Clarify confusion about lane allocation.
The picture above is my very rough draft of a sign that I'd put over the east- and west-bound lanes approaching the bridge. The point is to make clear where motorists need to be on the bridge to accomplish what they want to do after the bridge.
Long-term, the bridge needs to be transformed from its current NASCAR-esque oval race track to a more managed grid. My solution:
- Roundabouts at all of the red circles below
- Two-way traffic on Centre and Washington Streets, and maybe even on the bridges
- Signals only to facilitate pedestrian crossing