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.