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Town Considers Traffic Light Options at Dangerous Intersections

The intersection of Prospect and Foundry and Turnpike and Foundry may see improvements in the near future.

This week, town officials discussed the possibility of improving traffic safety at the intersections of Foundry Street and Turnpike Street and Foundry Street and Prospect Street.

The intersection of Foundry and Turnpike (route 138 and route 106) would likely be funded by the state. The project could be in the works by fiscal year 2014.

However, Town Administrator David Colton said he would ask the capital planning committee to dedicate $450,000 to fund a traffic light at Foundry and Prospect.

There's an advantage of doing it ourselves," said Colton. "Land taking cost would be less and we could get it done sooner."

Engineers Kian Ho and Greg Lucas of Beta Group said if the town didn't act on the intersection now, years would pass before state aid would be available to fund the project.

Colton said capital projects are worthwhile to undertake now because of low interest rates. He also said it would be unlikely the state would fund more than a few projects in one community, but Prospect and Foundry is still a priority.

"We’re about to start Five Corners," Colton said. "We’ve got 106 and 138. No community gets all the state money it asks for."

According to Ho and Lucas, the crash rate at the Foundry and Prospect is 1.27 per million vehicles entering, which far exceeds the state's acceptable rate of 0.67 per million. The intersection is also the site where 22-year-old Easton native Nicole St. John was fatally killed in a 2009 accident when her Honda Civic was struck by a tractor-trailer. Since then, St. John's family has launched a campaign to install a traffic light called "See the Light."

Ho and Lucas said the intersection of Prospect and Foundry would require a light but no lane additions. The state-funded intersection of Foundry and Turnpike Street, however, would require lane additions, including a right-turn lane from Foundry Street onto 138 South and a right-turn lane from 138 north to Foundry Street.

Lucas said rush hour traffic is an issue because of residents from Easton and Raynham attempting to get onto route 24 just over the West Bridgewater town line.

"We would just want to make sure that there is pedestrian safety," Town Planner Brad Washburn said. "We would like to see sidewalks and places for people to cross the street."

Lucas said sidewalks and crosswalks would be installed as well.

Currently, Lucas said, the crash rate at Foundry and Turnpike Street is among the highest in the state, with a rate of 1.86 per million vehicles entering.

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