Make South Braintree Square Safer for Pedestrians

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We are writing to you today about our concerns regarding the unresolved pedestrian safety issues in South Braintree Square.

South Braintree Square is a very busy intersection for pedestrians. This square is a busy business district, drawing many pedestrians of all ages for a variety of reasons including shopping, restaurants, government services and other businesses, school bus stops and its access to 2 of Braintree’s 4 MBTA bus routes, and is located just blocks away from Braintree Station.

For months, the crosswalk buttons in South Braintree Square have not been working properly. The 2 buttons at the corner by McDonalds & Nails & Spa have not been working at all, forcing pedestrians to jay-walk. The crosswalk lights in front of Southside Tavern are constantly blowing out and the signaling for pedestrian crossing in the Square often leaves us waiting several light cycles before it finally allows pedestrian crossing. 

We need these ongoing issues addressed, and in addition we are asking for the following improvements that we believe need to be made to South Braintree Square, in order to make this a safer intersection for pedestrians of all abilities:

PROVIDE CROSSWALK SIGNALS FOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY:
There are numerous safety issues that pedestrians of all ages and abilities are encountering when crossing South Braintree Square.

Pedestrians HAVE been hit repeatedly in this intersection. This study shows 3 pedestrians were hit 2005-2009 in this intersection in addition to 3 more pedestrian accidents within the square. Since the study, there have been more pedestrians & bicyclists hit in South Braintree Sq. 

We are asking the Town of Braintree to please take the following safety measures to improve pedestrian safety in South Braintree Square: 

1. ADDING ACTIVE CROSSWALK ALERTS FOR DRIVERS:  Please add either a "no turn on red" or "yield to pedestrians" LED blank-out road signs that light up during an active crosswalk to alert drivers that there is active crosswalk light. Pedestrian’s are constantly nearly getting hit crossing South Braintree Sq because drivers are making right on red without slowing down during an active crosswalk. 

  • Crossing from Braintree Rug towards Rite Aid, vehicles stopped in the center lane obstruct the view of vehicles about to make a right on red. Pedestrians are constantly nearly getting hit here. 
  • Vehicles parked before the crosswalk by Nails & Spa obstruct turning vehicles view of pedestrians about to cross. 
  • Additionally, the green utility box in front of Braintree Rug obstructs the drivers view of pedestrians about to step out in front of them.

2. INCREASE SAFETY & ACCESSIBILITY FOR BLIND & LOW-VISION RESIDENTS: with the addition of Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS).  These are designed to accommodate the needs of all pedestrians, including those with vision and mobility impairments. APS benefits include improved safety for visually impaired pedestrians, allowing more crossings in each signal interval, improving crossing speeds for all pedestrians, and they reduce crossings during the don’t walk phase. 

3. INCREASED CROSSING TIME: to allow enough time for elderly & disabled residents to safely cross the intersection.

 

SAFER SIDEWALKS, CURB CUTS & CROSSWALKS: We want repairs to bring South Braintree Square’s sidewalks into Mass Architectural Access Board (MAAB) & ADA compliance including:

1. REPLACEMENT OF SIDEWALK SLABS: that are being pushed up by tree roots, crumbling, or cracked. These are tripping hazards for the general population, but especially for elderly and disabled pedestrians. 

2. INCREASE SAFETY & ACCESSIBILITY OF CURB CUTS: mobility device users need ADA-compliant, smooth transitions where the curb cut meets the street. We are also asking for the addition of detectible warnings at curb cuts to improve access & safety for blind & low vision pedestrians.

3. IMPROVE CROSSWALK VISIBILITY & SURFACING: Pedestrians are constantly dealing with vehicles stopped in the crosswalk (often blocking curb cuts) forcing pedestrians into the street outside of safe crossing zones. This issue can be reduced by increasing the visibility of the crosswalks using a distinctive painted pattern that better identifies it as pedestrian crossing space as has already been done by Boston & other metro Boston cities. 

Evaluate the utility box placement by Braintree Rug which obstructs drivers view of pedestrians about to step out in front of them, for the possibility of relocation away from the crosswalk to improve pedestrian safety at that corner. 

Finally, we are asking that the Town of Braintree fix the surface of very uneven crosswalks from Richmond Hardware to Holbrook Ave & Braintree Rug to Southside Tavern, and maintain the terrain of the pedestrian path of travel in crosswalks throughout South Braintree Sq.

We respectfully await your response to how you intend to address our concerns we have addressed in this letter. 

Sincerely,
Members of Advancing Community inClusion & Equality on the South Shore (A.C.C.E.S.S.)

 

 [IMAGE DESCRIPTION: graphic in orange, aqua & navy with 3 black & white photos - South Braintree Sq, electrical box blocking view of pedestrians, and a manual wheelchair user at a crumbling curb cut. Text reads "Make South Braintree Sq Safer for Pedestrians. Increase Accessibility & Safety. Sidewalks. Curb cuts. Crosswalks. Provide crosswalk signs for pedestrian safety. Crosswalk alerts for drivers. Increased crossing time. Accessibility for blind pedestrians]. 



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