Reduce Speeding on Pond Street in Natick
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Dear Town of Natick,
I am a resident of Pond Street, and I know I am not alone in my concern about the near continuous speeding down this street (it is a frequent topic of discussion on the Natick Mom's facebook group). If you had speed radars on Pond street for several days, I imagine you would see a majority of drivers going 35-40MPH and quite frequently, some drivers going over 40MPH (the current speed limit is 30MPH).
In the last 2 years, residents of Pond Street have seen 2 accidents that have threatened pedestrian safety. In July 2016 there was an accident where a young pedestrian got hit by a car that drove up the sidewalk to avoid rear-ending another car, and this past January another car crashed on the sidewalk of Pond street (near Forest street) to avoid an accident- luckily no pedestrians were on the sidewalk at that time.
One of my favorite things about living so close to town is to be able to walk into the town center with my 3 year old son, but it is hard to enjoy the walk when I feel the need to be vigilant about making sure my son stays on the inside of the sidewalk, and that I need to be alert at all times.
I would like to request that the Town of Natick look into the issue of speeding on Pond Street further by:
•Doing a traffic study of Pond street (especially the area between the town center and the high school, and the intersection of High street and Pond street which is an especially confusing intersection to some drivers).
•Investing in a couple raised intersections, raised crosswalks, or road humps for the area of Pond Street between the high school and the town center (or whatever measures are deemed most effective and appropriate by the traffic study).
You can see the effectiveness of these traffic-calming measures in this study by the Minnesota DOT, which showed that things like road humps can reduce traffic speeds up to 23%. In addition, this study from California found that "speed humps were associated with a 53% to 60% reduction in the odds of injury or death among children struck by an automobile in their neighborhood".
I think most of the residents of Natick appreciate the feeling of a walkable town that is safe and comfortable for young families, and we should take the appropriate steps to make sure that our traffic safety reflects that.
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