Letters to the Editor, Nov. 30

Mini-roundabout Best For Intersection


Nobody likes the size of the Howard Stein Hudson (HSH) proposal 3 with traffic-lights and turning lanes at the Crowell Road intersection. The selectmen voted optimistically to reduce the area by “scaling” it. Although HSH say they can look into some hypothetical tweaks, it seems impractical to reduce the size enough to satisfy both the critics and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation representative stated that he was in favor of a roundabout solution, and asked for peer-review on roundabout proposal 2, but we have not seen a written review. We believe that any issues associated with a roundabout could be worked out, particularly with an option, which has not been proposed. This would use a mini-roundabout, which the FHA is advocating as an optimal solution for compact locations, since it allows trucks and emergency vehicles to run over the center island. Roundabouts are actually safer for pedestrians, who can use short designated crossings of a single traffic lane with central refuge islands, rather than crossing three lanes without refuge islands, which requires a pedestrian signal delaying traffic.

There has been no presentation of approaches to the so-called drainage issue, which clearly would also have to be solved for a traffic-lighted intersection. If there are design issues with a mini-roundabout, what are they? Cannot the engineering and design problems be solved by HSH, in conjunction with a full peer-review from Kittelson Engineering Consultants known for their expertise in roundabout design?

If pedestrian ease and safety, minimum layout area and takings, traffic efficiency and aesthetics are the key criteria for this intersection, the choice is obvious. Instead of summarily dismissing proposal 2, the selectmen need to require a fully designed and peer-reviewed proposal 2, or 2.1 using a mini-roundabout, to configure this small and sensitive area to meet these considerations and avoid condemning Chatham to an unattractive, over-sized, traffic-lighted intersection which does not meet these criteria, or even the preference of the MassDOT and HSH principals.

Drs. Mike and Margaret Tompsett



Better Spot For COA


Why not consider that the senior citizen center be located  on Main Street? Seniors, forefathers, created this town. Let them enjoy  a location such as  the Eldredge Garage location on  Main Street. Don’t shuffle Gramps and Granny out of sight, out of mind to an address  so remote next to the dump as the board of selectmen have discussed.

Fred Schrafft