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Changes Recommended for Route 140 Intersection

This chart from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) study of the Cape Road (Route 140)/South Main Street intersection shows the numbers and types of accidents that have occurred there over the past few years.

A recently concluded traffic study conducted for the town by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is recommending that nine changes be made to improve the intersection of South Main St. and Cape Road (Route 140). Now that the 31-page, free study is complete, Town Planner Larry Dunkin said he wants the state to pay for making the recommended improvements.

The intersection is the location for ongoing construction: The GASCO service station recently was closed and is being converted to office/retail use. In the shopping plaza across the street, the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center was just constructed and is getting ready to open its doors in the next few weeks.

The traffic study details the town's issues and concerns about this busy intersection:

• Traffic congestion during peak hours, especially in the evening and for the southbound approach;

• Large number of accidents and high accident rate;

• Through traffic on the northbound approach of South Main St. not yielding to traffic from other approaches, increasing the potential for accidents;

• Lack of crosswalks for pedestrians on South Main St.;

• Discontinued sidewalks south of the intersection; and,

• Poor location of some of the many traffic control signs in the vicinity, increasing the potential for driver confusion.

The traffic study's nine recommendations to improve these conditions "without major geometric modifications" are:

• Re-assigning the two lanes of the CVS/pharmacy driveway into a left-turn exclusive lane and a shared "through" and right-turn lane – including lane restripings and pavement markings;

• Adjusting the traffic signal timing by slightly reducing the protected left-turn phase in both the morning and evening peak traffic periods and slightly increasing the southbound phase in the evening peak traffic periods;

• Increasing the size of the two South Main St. northbound yield signs to 48 inches by 48 inches by 48 inches;

• Relocating the "Left Lane Must Turn Left" sign currently places to the south of the CVS/pharmacy exit-only driveway to about 20 feet north of the exit;

• Removing the "Do Not Enter" sign from the "Left Turn Must Turn Left" signpost and placing a "Do Not Enter" sign on the back of the "Stop" sign and "No Left Turn" arrow sign currently posted at the CVS/pharmacy exit;

• Installing a five-foot sidewalk on the north side of Route 140;

• Installing a crosswalk across South Main St. at the intersection;

• Providing five-foot shoulders for bicycles on both sides of Route 140; and,

• Modifying the two small triangular traffic islands on the Route 140 southeast-bound approach in order to slow traffic and shorten the pedestrian crossing distance.

The Boston Region MPO is the agency responsible for conducting the federally required metropolitan transportation-planning process for 101 cities and towns in the Boston metropolitan area. The MPO has a Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) located in Boston. In November, 2012, Dunkin learned that Milford was eligible to participate in the MPO's Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program (CTTAP), which provides towns with technical advice on local transportation concerns relating to traffic operations and safety. The CTTAP technical assistance is provided by a team of transportation engineers and planners from both the MPO's CTPS and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

Due to the town's Industrial Development Commission's (IDC) interest in long-standing traffic congestion issues there, Dunkin submitted the Route 140/South Main St. intersection project for consideration and learned last February that it had been selected. The IDC interest came through traffic studies conducted as part of the prior research into building an alternative traffic route to driving through the downtown Milford area, he said.

This photo from the Region Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) study of the Cape Road (Route 140)/South Main Street intersection shows the various commercial developments in the area.


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