Changes planned

Major changes are in the works for the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Chickatawbut Road--the most dangerous intersection in Milton and the 47th worst in the state, according to local and state officials.

The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is expected to hold a meeting about options for the intersection at a date still to be set.

State Rep. Bill Driscoll said one proposed fix for the intersection is to replace the traffic signal at the intersection with a roundabout at the busy intersection to eliminate dangerous left turns.

Further study of four potential design options is underway, he said.

The options range in price from $800,000 for other roadway options to $2.9 million for a rotary, Driscoll said.

After a meeting with MassDOT on March 29, Driscoll said that if the roundabout option is selected, construction would not begin until 2022 because of additional engineering and widening roadway hurdles.

Speaking to the Select Board on March 27, he said the improvements would be paid for through a combination of 20 percent state grants and 80 percent federal money under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

“We’re at the top of the list. We’re a top five worst intersection at this point,” Driscoll said. “We’re at a point where decisions of consequence need to be made so we stay at the top of the list. We don’t want to pass up the opportunity to solve this problem.”

Driscoll said the intersection earned the dire safety ruling after a state study for the time period from 2013 to 2015 showed that about 146 crashes took place at the intersection.

Those accidents included 23 that resulted in personal injury and one fatal crash, according to a MassDOT Highway Division that obtains crash data from the MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Division and uses it to provide a foundation for developing safety improvement projects.

Driscoll and town officials also joined state officials for a follow-up traffic audit of the area in 2017.

“It’s bad and it’s been bad for a while,” he said.

According to Driscoll, about 65 percent of the crashes were angle crashes which typically happen when cars cross traffic for left hand turns. Most of the crashes took place during the morning and evening peak traffic periods.

Congestion, driver frustration, and the needs of pedestrians were also listed as safety concerns in the audit report.

Other options under consideration include widening the road, adjusting the traffic signals, and adding turning lanes.

More information can be found in the print and online issue of the Milton Times April 4, 2019.

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