Letter from John RoweMon, Jul 24, 8:50 PM to randolphtowncouncil@randolph-MA.gov
Good evening Randolph Town Council,
Thank you for allowing me to speak this evening at your Town Council meeting. Again, I encourage you to engage with Mass DOT concerning the roundabout proposal. I do believe, as does Senator Timillty, Milton Board of Select Persons, and people who live in my neighborhood, that this will cause more problems than it solves. Please see the article in the Herald at the link below.
My response to John Rowe
Mr. Rowe -- You left our Town Council meeting before I could reply, so I'll summarize my reply and suggest that you watch it on RCTV --
Timilty's plan is terrible for everyone except maybe for local residents who live nearby the intersection. Timilty focuses on just the neighbors' benefit while ignoring the burdens placed on everyone else. That's called "NIMBYism" and I oppose it. I welcome you coming to Randolph to debate this issue, so that the people of Randolph can oppose Timilty's plan too.
My support letter to MassDOT on rotaryApril 2023 letter to "DOT Feedback Highway" -- Download as PDF -- in support of rotary. Generally, I support any constructed fix, and oppose any police-oriented fix. If the neighbors in Milton prefer a highway separation (a "Jersey barrier") near Chickatawbut, or raised roadways, or a traffic light, I would support any of those. I support "traffic calming" as the solution to one of the most dangerous intersections in Massachusetts, because traffic calming works well at dangerous intersections. MassDOT has determined -- by expert analysis -- that a rotary is the best traffic-calming method, and I support their conclusion. But other traffic-calming measures would be ok too. What's NOT ok is to set up a speed trap that targets Randolph residents -- which is what Timilty proposes instead of a rotary!
To: DOT Feedback Highway DOTFeedbackHighway@dot.state.ma.us
Re: Chickatawbut Road Traffic Circle
To: Carrie E. Lavallee, chief engineer,
Re: Major Project Project File 607342."
Please register my support of the MassDOT proposed roundabout at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue (Rt. 28) in Milton, MA. The MA-DOT plan would benefit motorists from Randolph and Boston, and would also provide traffic calming for hikers at Skyline Trail.
I encourage expansion of the project to include the Skyline Trail crossing as well -- with another roundabout or "median island" there -- to fulfill a proposed plan to enhance hiker safety. See attached documents for details.
This fatal car crash occured on Rt 28 near Chickatawbut --
there's a car crash like this every month or so near the Rt.28-Chickatawbut intersection.
This is what "traffic-claming" would avoid.
See article at WCVB News.
My response to April 12 CTPS meetingMy letter of April 20, 2023 to Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), about the Rt 28 crossing (Download as PDF). I propose here to include a second rotary between Chickatawbut Road and the Randolph border, at the Blue Hills Skyline Trail crossing of Rt. 28 in Quincy. Having two rotaries would greatly increase "traffic calming" at both locations -- reducing accidents at Chickatawbut, and also making the hiker crossing much safer. As opponents point out, a rotary (or two) does slow down traffic -- yes, that is the purpose! But think about WHEN traffic gets slowed down -- it's when motorists can drive fast, which means off-rush-hour. At rush hour, traffic-calming hardly makes any difference -- this road is very slow during rush hour. A rotary would slow down traffic when it's fast, and only delay motorists by a few seconds during rush hour.
To: Casey Cooper, Boston Region MPO
To Ms. Cooper and the CTPS,
I watched with great interest your meeting of 4/12/23 and I've been following the issue as a member of the Friends of the Blue Hills for over a year now. I would like to offer the comments below on both the Skyline Trail Crossing, and on the wider-scale issues on Randolph Avenue (Rt. 28) in Quincy and Milton.
FBH Board President Matt Panucci mentioned during the meeting that Governor Baker pocket-vetoed legislation regarding crossing Rt. 28 at Chickatawbut Road. Senator Timilty has re-introduced that legislation this year, and I oppose it as an elected official of Randolph, because Timilty's plan hurts the people of Randolph and hurts the Blue Hills. MA-DOT has introduced a positive plan for the Chickatawbut crossing, with a traffic circle, which would slow traffic at the Skyline Trail crossing too. I'm asking CTPS, and FBH, and the other relevant elected officials, to oppose Timilty's plan, and to support the MA-DOT plan. Could CTPS offer their input on the Chickatawbut crossing and its effect on the Skyline Trail crossing? Either as part of the Skyline Trail report, or as a separate letter to the legislature?
I'll get to the details of the competing plans for the Chickatawbut crossing, and how they directly affect the Skyline Trail crossing and the rest of Randolph Avenue, but first let me provide some context of my response to the rest of the 4/12 meeting. These responses reflect my position as a hiker in the Blue Hills, and as a regular motorist on Randolph Avenue.
Now to apply the Skyline Trail concepts to the other four Randolph Avenue crossings. I heard you say in the meeting that you don't want to widen the scope of the project, but that you would consider addressing other Randolph Avenue crossings. I suggest you consider the Chickatawbut crossing as a unified project along with the four other crossings. The rest of my comments concern the Chickatawbut crossing.
MA-DOT has proposed constructing a traffic circle at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Road, with a median area including a raised curb, where pedestrians could pause. That would fulfill the comment by Steve Olanoff during the 4/12 meeting to allow hikers to cross Randolph Avenue in two sections, with a safe pausing spot halfway across. I support a constructed median at both Chickatawbut Road and the Skyline Trail crossing.
Timilty introduced a bill to override the MA-DOT plan -- S.2384 in 2021 and S.3124 in 2022, and currently reintroduced as S.2301 in 2023. Some abutters near Chickatawbut have a petition circulating against MA-DOT construction in favor of increasing a police presence on Randolph Avenue, which Timilty supports. That is the aspect that I oppose -- an increased police presence would target residents of Randolph and Boston who commute on that road, without benefiting hikers with any full-time traffic calming since the police presence would be periodic at best, and not near Skyline Trail. I am asking my State Representatives and others to oppose Timilty's poorly-thought-out bill, with details in my letter attached.
The MA-DOT plan at Chickatawbut, in contrast, would directly benefit hikers at the Skyline Trail by providing full-time traffic calming at the north end of Randolph Avenue. That would complement well to similar constructed traffic calming structures at Skyline Trail -- and at other parking areas along Randolph Avenue -- because motorists would come to expect them, rather than racing the entire length.
Please consider supporting the MA-DOT plan at the Chickatawbut crossing as part of the Skyline Trail crossing project. Or if not, then a letter of support for MA-DOT's Chickatawbut plan and a letter of opposition to Timilty's bill.
My request that State Reps withdraw from S.2384 (Timilty's 2023 Speed Trap bill)
Tell our State Reps you oppose S.2384, Timilty's 2023 Speed Trap bill! (Download as PDF). These two State Reps represent Milton (Rep. Driscoll also represents Randolph, and Rep. Fluker-Oakley also represents parts of Boston). They co-sponsored Timilty's speed trap bill because the local neighbors in Milton asked them to. We should let them know that the residents of Randolph oppose the speed trap because it targets us, and because it doesn't accomplish the goal of making the Chickatawbut intersection safer. These two state reps are very good legislators who listen to the people -- but they have only heard from the NIMBY crowd who say about a rotary "Not In My Back Yard" -- they need to hear from us saying "Don't target Randolph and Boston with a speed trap!". You could write to Timilty too, but he is not a good listener -- he prefers police-oriented solutions to every problem, even though the Milton police are known to disproprtionately target motorists of color. If our two state reps withdraw their co-sponsorship, it will send a message to the rest of the Legislature that Timilty's speed trap is a terrible idea!
To: State Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley and State Rep. Bill Driscoll
William.Driscoll@mahouse.gov and Brandy.FlukerOakley@mahouse.gov
Dear Rep. Fluker-Oakley and Rep. Driscoll,
I'm writing to ask you to withdraw your sponsorship for Senator Timilty's bill S.2301 [now re-filed as S.2384 in 2023] and to not co-sponsor any follow-up legislation in the 193rd legislative session regarding the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue. Timilty's bill, and his entire simplistic approach, is poorly thought-out and benefits only the Milton Police and some local Milton residents. Thousands of other users of that stretch of road would continue facing a safety risk by ignoring the MassDOT's recommendation for a roundabout.
Timilty's bill would overturn the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's plan to construct a "roundabout" -- a traffic circle that would slow traffic on both Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue. The MA-DOT plan would provide "traffic calming" on Randolph Avenue -- which thousands of hikers cross as part of the trails in the Blue Hills Reservation. The MA-DOT plan would complement the current DCR plan to provide "traffic calming" at the Skyline Trail crossing further south on Randolph Avenue. I enclose a memo to the Boston Region MPO, plus a link to their video recording from an April 12 meeting about the Skyline Trail crossing.
Thousands of people from Randolph use this road daily to get to Boston, and thousands of people from Boston pass through Milton to get to Randolph. Additionally, thousands of users of the Blue Hills hike across and along Randolph Avenue. Those are the people whose interests Timilty ignores!
I understand there is a petition against the roundabout -- yes, a roundabout would slow down traffic on Chickatawbut Road a little bit for Milton abutters -- but it would greatly benefit everyone by making the intersection safer, and making Randolph Avenue traffic slower!
I'd like you to consider what would happen to the people of Randolph and Boston if Timilty gets his way, and funds the Milton Police to enforce a 25mph speed limit near this intersection. The Milton Police would ticket speeders going over 25mph -- those are most often commuters from Randolph and Boston, or visitors between those communities. That means that Timilty's plan would impose "speed trap" fees on Randolph and Boston residents, to benefit a few Milton abutters. Looking at the demographics involved, Timilty's plan would impose fees on the majority-minority communities of Dorchester and Randolph, for the benefit of the affluent neighborhoods of Milton.
Note too that the MBTA bus #240 and BAT bus #12 have routes that go right through this same intersection. Those buses never speed, of course, but would have to slow to 25mph -- in other words, Timilty's plan would slow the daily work commute of thousands of bus riders, to benefit a few local Milton drivers.
Regarding Timilty's plan to use the Milton Police for traffic calming, please look at the "Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report", where the Milton Police Department appears on page 212. I cite the figures below, but in summary, the Milton Police disproportionately ticket African American and Black drivers. Just for one example, Milton is about 72% white, but people stopped by the Milton Police are only 39% white -- a worse differential than the state average, and much worse than the neighboring majority-minority communities of Boston and Randolph.
Furthermore, even during the brief times that Timilty's police-oriented plan is in effect, the Milton police don't patrol the stretches of Randolph Avenue that would slow traffic for the benefit of hikers. Timilty's plan would restrict Milton police activity to within the Milton border -- far from the Skyline Trail crossing in Quincy. I conferred with the Randolph police department about this issue, and they report that the Milton police have historically avoided any activity on that stretch of Randolph Avenue - leaving it to the Randolph police to handle emergency response there. The State Police do assist, since it's a state road, but the Randolph police have acted as the first responders, not Milton.
Please withdraw your name from Timilty's one-sided plans. Please consider your constituents in Boston and Randolph. Please apply more inclusive thinking than Timilty's myopic police-centric worldview.
|Committee to Elect Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368|
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