Costly Fix for Dangerous Intersection Ruled Out

Traffic Advisory Committee will review short-term, less expensive redesign of intersection at Humphrey, Burrill and Monument.


Before sending the issue off to the Traffic Study Committee, the Board of Selectmen and town administrator made it clear Wednesday night there was no appetite for building a million dollar rotary to reduce traffic congestion and accidents at one of its most dangerous intersections.

The Burrill Street and Humphrey Street was one of two in Swampscott that town planner Peter Kane asked the Boston Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization to look at. The other was also on Humphrey at Eastern Avenue.

The MPO chose to study the Monument/Burrill/Humphrey intersection and sent a team of traffic experts in March to count the number of cars passing through the intersection during the morning and evening rush hours. They also counted bicyclists and pedestrians using the intersection, but Kane, who presented the MPO's recommendations to the Selectmen, said there was only one cyclist and only a few pedestrians counted, because it was March.

The MPO recommended both short-term and long-term solutions. The long-term solutions involved reconfiguring the intersection into a rotary, which Town Administrator Thomas Younger said would cost more than a million dollars.

The Selectmen and administrator seemed to favor a redesign of the intersection to add an unraised island and make traffic flow in one direction traveling south on Humphrey as it enters the intersection toward Burrill Street. The plan would also have traffic on Burrill Street turn right at the monument to travel onto Humphrey Street. 

Traffic headed north on Burrill Street would have to turn left onto Monument. That would eliminate cars traveling in several directions entering the busy intersection. 

The MPO, Kane said, estimated that these traffic changes would cost only about $10,000.

"I would like to see what impact these short-term changes have on traffic before considering other more expensive changes," Kane said.

Younger agreed, saying he could not favor the more expensive fixes for this intersection.

The Traffic Study Committee will consider the MPO recommendations and report its recommendations to the Selectmen. The Selectmen can then decide what changes they would like to make.

Patricia October 04, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Not sure if or when was the last time anyone on your committee attempted to cross Essex Street from Eastman Avenue without having to slam on your brakes due to the drivers on Essex Street (driving in the direction of Lynn) run the red light and take a right onto Danvers Road. Yesterday I encountered this situation three times in one day. Most of these drivers never look to see if there could possibly be a vehicle beginning to cross the street in the same direction...Danvers Road. I have resided on Eastman Avenue for almost 24 years and no one has ever attempted to resolve this problem. A "NO RIGHT ON RED" sign needs to be posted immediately before someone is severely injured or worse. We do not need a sign stating RIGHT ON RED AFTER COMPLETE STOP as it will be ignored, also a placement of a police officer at this intersection frequently would certainly raise revenue for this violation. Enough is enough. How about a delayed light with green arrows for those making a left turns both direction(left <onto Eastman Ave and right>onto Danvers Road, which would allow safety for all. This is a very simple couple of suggestions for a resolution of this dangerous intersection. The publics safety is within your reach. Swampscott by enforcing this rule. The light changes
Myron S. Stone October 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Patricia is correct.Right turn on red after complete stop signs should be eliminated , no one stops, they bomb through against on comming traffic. Sempermike
pamela boucher October 08, 2012 at 10:02 PM
they should just leave it alone ok there is nothing making a right turn on a red light ok.


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