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City says new signs, markings have slowed drivers on busy West Roxbury road

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  August 16, 2013 01:38 PM

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The city of Boston says new data shows it has been able to slow down drivers on a residential street in West Roxbury by installing new signs and road markings in an area that had been plagued by speeding vehicles.

The percentage of vehicles traveling above the posted speed limit of 30 mile per hour along a one-third mile stretch of Grove Street, between Washington Street and the Boston neighborhood’s border with the town of Dedham, has been reduced from 83.6 percent to 36.5 percent, officials said.

The data is based on two studies by the Boston Transportation Department.

The first study was done last March before the city made $50,000 in improvements, including posting electronic, radar-activated speed display signs and pedestrian warning signs, installing new crosswalks and painting lines to mark the right edge of travel lanes as well as other new pavement markings, officials said. The project was completed in the fall and a follow-up study was done in May.

The study comparisons also found the percentage of vehicles exceeding 35 miles per hour has dropped from 37.3 percent to 5.4 percent, the city’s transportation department said.

And, 85 percent of vehicles now travel at speeds less than or equal to 31 and 34 miles per hour, depending on whether they’re heading north or south, according to the department. Before, 85 percent of vehicles traveled at speeds less than or equal to 39 and 40 miles per hour, depending on the direction.

The department said a statistical analysis determined with a 99 percent confidence level that the difference in the before and after speeds is significant and due to the improvements the city made.

Last year, at a City Council hearing about the topic of “traffic calming,” residents of Grove Street expressed concern about the speed of traffic around their homes.

Their worry prompted transportation department Commissioner Thomas J. Tinlin and department engineering director John DeBenedictis to schedule a meeting with residents to walk along the street and observe the traffic first-hand, according to the city.

“Grove Street residents approached BTD concerned about drivers using their street as a cut-through between Washington Street in West Roxbury and the Dedham town line,” said a statement from the transportation department. “Residents were worried about their safety as the cut-through vehicles were regularly speeding along the street.”

Tinlin said he was pleased to work with the residents and to see the changes the city made have been effective.

“As a result of our cooperative working relationship, speeding on Grove Street has been significantly reduced and the troubling public safety issues that residents were faced with each day have been alleviated,” he said in a statement.

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