A Pair Of Speed Tables Set For Winter Street To Slow Down Cut-Through Commuters

Photo: A map of hte location of the two speed tables for Winter Street

The longstanding complaints from homeowners along lower Winter Street that vehicles are treating their street more like a drag strip than a neighborhood street has been answered.

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the Select Board approved placing a pair of raised traffic tables on Winter between Marsh Street and Concord Avenue to slow down the increasing traffic load that includes a return of the commuter cut-through drivers.

Residents came before TAC on July 8 for “what was identified as a speeding problem,” said the Director of the Office of Community Development, Glenn Clancy, with cars and trucks racing to Route 2 and towards the dicey intersection with Concord Avenue that leads to Belmont Center.

A subsequent week-long speed data study by the Belmont Police Department confirmed the residents’ observations: nearly three of every five motorists were caught traveling above 30 mph, five mph faster than the posted speed limit in thickly settled neighborhoods.

Based on the findings, TAC held a meeting in early September where all but one of the households supported Clancy’s and the TAC’s recommendation of installing three-inch tall tables at either end of that stretch of Winter Street.

“[A raised table] is a technique that we’ve used in Belmont for the last several years, which has been effective,” said Clancy, pointing to its use on School Street adjacent to the Burbank School.

“They are designed to slow traffic down. They are not designed to jolt or jar traffic” but be a visual clue for drivers to reduce their speed, said Clancy.

When Board Chair Mark Paolillo worried that more residents would petition for tables so that the town would be swamped with them over time, Clancy said a recent data study of Belmont Street from Trapelo to Common found the average speed was 21 mph.

“It is surprising when you do the studies how often the data actually shows that the average speed is below 25 mph,” said Clancy.

The project’s total cost will be $4,600 and will be funded from the annual pavement management account. The installation will occur in the following months.

Final Day of Winter Street Repaving Underway Wednesday, Aug. 2

Photo: Perkins truck ready to go.

On Wednesday, August 2, Hudson-based E.H. Perkins will begin paving the final section of Winter Street between Concord Avenue and the Lexington town line.

Work will begin at 6 a.m. with the hope of completing the work in one day. The road will be closed, and delays are expected during construction hours between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Residents and Commuters are advised to seek alternate routes.

Winter Street residents will not have vehicular access to their homes and properties during work hours. 

For any questions or concerns about the project, contact Arthur O’Brian, resident engineer in the Office of Community Development, at 617-993-2665.

Belmont Police Unveil Traffic/Parking Plan for PGA Tournament

Photo: Belmont Police Capt. Peter Hoerr talking with a resident during a public meeting,

When suggesting what residents in and around Winter Street can do to assist police when a PGA golf tournament come to the Belmont Country Club next month, Belmont Police Assistant Chief James MacIsaac said that week might be “a good time to open the summer house and go to the Cape,” to chuckles in the room. 

The good natured quip to the 15 residents who attended the community meeting at the Belmont Hill School on Thursday, May 14, spoke volumes about some of the challenges facing homeowners in what is being called “the triangle” of streets and roads adjacent the club and Marsh and Winter streets beginning Tuesday, June 9 and lasting (weather permitting) until Sunday, June 14, when 8,000 people will descend daily on Belmont attending the PGA Tour Constellation Senior Championship.  

“There are a lot of moving parts in this plan and along the way there has been challenges for the PGA to do the plan correctly,” said Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin to the residents.

“So I want to know your concerns and we’ll work to alleviate those [issues],” McLaughlin said. 

The most significant of the week-long change will be the closure of Winter Street, a main thoroughfare from Belmont into and out of Lexington and Route 2. The street, according to BPD Capt. Peter Hoerr (who has been coordinating the effort between the town and suppliers), will be closed from:

  • Tuesday, June 9 – 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 10 – 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 11 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 12 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 13 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 14 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Closing Winter Street will also result in the popular Route 2 Exit 56 East to be shut down, with traffic being directed to use Exit 55 onto Pleasant Street in Lexington. This detour will result in traffic that usually travels on Winter will shift over to Concord Avenue. 

In addition to Winter, Marsh Street will be closed to non-residential motorists who are looking for Winter, Route 2, Lexington or Concord and Robinwood Road will be posted “Do Not Enter” at Concord Avenue. Hough Road residents will also be impacted.

While there will be restrictions to through traffic, residents in the impacted area will still be able to get to their homes by flashing a Mass Driver’s License with the current address visible.

“Residents will have easy access to their homes,” said Hoerr, who added that the department is developing a system of visitor passes for residents to have guests during the tournament. 

During the tournament, there will also be temporary “no parking” restrictions on the following streets:

  • Concord Avenue
  • Country Club Lane
  • Dundonald Road
  • Greenbrook Way
  • Grey Birch Park
  • Greybirch Circle
  • Hough Road
  • Marsh Street (between Concord Avenue and Country Club Lane)
  • Partridge Lane 
  • Rayburn Road
  • Robinwood Road
  • Winter Street 

Ticketholders will park at Bentley College in Waltham and arrive at the tournament via shuttle bus. Volunteers who need to park will be picked up at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington. VIP and players parking will be at the club and at St Camillus in Arlington. There will also be shuttle buses from Alewife station.