Selectmen Approve Bike Path and Trail Signage; Review Community Choice Aggregation

A wayfinding sign installed at mile 9 on the Minuteman Bikeway – Courtesy image, (c) 2017 all rights reserved

By Elizabeth Hacala

During their July 31 meeting, the Board of Selectmen reviewed several projects already underway.

Wayfinding Signage for the Minuteman Bikeway

Alyssa Sandoval, Economic Development Director, and Adrienne St. John, Public Works Engineer, presented designs for wayfinding signage along the bike path. The signs would begin at mile zero at Alewife and continue through Lexington to mile 10 in Bedford. Although the path does go through Arlington, they have no plans for additional signage at this time.

The signs were updated based on feedback from the Selectmen and the Bicycle Advisory Committee.  Sandoval also proposed the signs include the Bedford seal for better navigation and to be consistent with the Lexington design, which also has their own town seal.  The signs would be placed every half mile.  There were some concerns about having signs posted so frequently; however, there are public safety reasons to have each half mile identified.  The Department of Public Works will work to ensure the half mile markers are installed outside the “fall zone.”

Chairman Margot Fleischman thanked everyone for their work. A motion to accept “Alternate A” in the sign proposal was approved 5-0-0.

Samples of the wayfinding signs – Courtesy image (c) 2017 all rights reserved – Double click each to view larger image

The second project proposed inner-loop trail markers. Michael Barbehenn, Trails Committee Chair, reminded everyone that several years ago the Trails Committee had come before the Selectmen with the initial plan to mark a 6.3-mile trail that linked the town campus and conservation areas. At that time, they were given approval to mark the path with white dots on the ground.  The committee is now seeking approval to upgrade the Inner Loop markings with a combination of new square markers and green arrows. Barbehenn explained that the conservation land signs were brown, and by using these unique green markers it would be easier to differentiate the trail from conservation land. Selectman Fleischman and Selectman Bill Moonan raised concerns about where the signs would be posted and ensuring they were posted in legal locations. With that caveat, permission to install the signs was approved 5-0-0.

Proposed Crosswalk Traffic Study

Jacinda ‘Cindy’ Barbehenn and Arianna Dines presented a proposal for a small traffic study at the crosswalk where Pine Hill Road meets the Narrow Gauge trail. They had already done some study of the traffic along that stretch of road and identified problems with the speed of traffic as well as visibility of people on the bike path. Their proposal was to introduce traffic calming for a short period of time during August and gather data on how drivers reacted to those changes. Jacinda Barbehenn presented several pictures of the surrounding area as well as different options for traffic calming.  They hoped to complete the study during August prior to Dines, who is studying city planning, returning to college for the fall.  They hoped this first step would provide data to help inform possible future permanent solutions., Public Works Engineer St. John said that the Department of Public Works already had some traffic calming signs and devices in stock.  Selectmen Chair Fleischman thanked Barbehenn and Dines for their interest and willingness to give back to the community in this way. Permission to perform the study in collaboration with the DPW, using signage they have in stock, was approved 5-0-0.

Community Choice Aggregation Contract

The Selectmen reviewed the final changes to the contract between the Town of Bedford and Good Energy, L.P. for Community Choice Aggregation. Town Manager Rick Reed reviewed the final adjustment negotiated by town counsel which mainly concerned the amount of insurance Good Energy would be required to carry. It was the consensus of the Selectmen that the Town Manager proceed and execute the contract. There is currently a period for public comment until the next Selectmen’s meeting on August 21.  Chair Fleischman clarified that as part of the roll-out there is an initial 30-day opt out for residents or businesses that do not want to participate in Community Choice Aggregation for their electrical service, but businesses and residents will continue to have the ability to join or withdraw, if they choose, after that initial 30day period.

Detailed documents on Community Choice Aggregation are available on the town web site at: https://www.bedfordma.gov/selectmen/pages/community-choice-aggregation.


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