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Councillor concerned over pedestrian safety at Overlook

Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch wants to put a pedestrian signal on Salem Street at Overlook Ridge. Patch requested the crossing signal at the City Council’s July 24 public safety subcommittee meeting, saying he has received many emails from residents at Overlook Ridge about the dangerous intersection.

“There is a bus stop there and when people get off the bus, they often go into the street to cross as cars are coming their way. It is a traffic safety problem at the crossing,” he said.

Patch said he has been trying for years to get something done in that neighborhood and he thinks his third attempt in the form of a motion will do the trick.

If approved, the pedestrian signal light will stop traffic along the busy thoroughfare, providing time for pedestrians to cross the street. The amount of time and placement of the pedestrian crosswalk will be discussed by the Traffic Commission.

City Planner Frank Stringi agreed with Patch. “There is a need for a pedestrian crossing,” he said. “That area can be hazardous.”

Stringi said in order for this to happen Patch will need to get the Traffic Commission’s approval. Stringi, who is on the commission, said he didn’t think that would be a problem.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers asked how much it would cost the city to put a pedestrian signal in place. Stringi estimated approximately $15 to $20,000. “That is short money when you consider what could happen to somebody if they got hit by a car there,” he said.

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso agreed. “The cost should be no factor in public safety,” he said.

The City Council unanimously voted in favor of the motion and it was sent to the Traffic Commission for review.

By Sara Brown

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