Select Board Meeting 10/23/23
In attendance: John Cronin, Tina Hein, Travis Ahern, Ben Sparrell – Meeting opened at 7:00
Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) Recommendations
12 petitions have been received by the committee. Because of scheduling conflicts, we have had some challenges meeting
- Crosswalk on Hollis Street at Fieldstone Drive – this is mostly for 55 and over population – There is a concern without proper signage this will create unsafe conditions. Question: Mr. Weiler Fieldstone St. – community has grown substantially over the last few years. It’s a difficult intersection walking and driving because of visibility and he’s hoping t hat it will pass – Recommended by TAC – Passed
- No Parking – 6am to 6pm zone – Grove Street (even number side) – This is due to gridlock during deliveries and trash pickups – with one side no parking it would alleviate some of the gridlock – Motion made, passed unanimously
- Move ADA accessible parking spot on Washington Street from 688 Washington Street to corner of Elm/Washington (church) – residents of 688 no longer have a need for the spot. According to DPW he’ll shade out the space next to it in the event it’s needed for wheelchair access. – Motion made and passed unanimously
Not technically on agenda but there was a petition for Liberty Lane crosswalk as well.
Future Items (Projected for November 6, 2023 discussion)
- Norfolk/Franklin/Central area traffic study (PareCorp.) – this study outlined a number of recommendations
- Green Street Municipal Parking traffic study (PareCorp.) – traffic engineering group is also looking at patterns of traffic
- Highland Street Safety Zone implementation plan (McMahon)
These items will likely be discussed and voted at 11/6 meeting
From Tina Hein – Creative Placemaking workshop update 30 people attended 9good turnout (mostly outside of Holliston) – This was about adding art to public spaces. Great networking event. Toured Central Street, Green Street and Blair Square were toured. Next step is another meeting in January to develop a call for art. Potential 10K award for artist who is selected for use in public spaces.
John Cronin – Holliston Hopkinton Football game honored a victim of suicide in our community. Garry Family should be commended for sharing their grief and bringing attention to mental health issues that many of us have family members who struggle with. Thanks to Coach Kiley as well.
Past Saturday (rain but not awful) – Blair Square Ribbon Cutting – this project is now completed Blair Square is named after a prominent member of our community – Mark Ahronian was also recognized for his work on this project as well as other projects across this community. Ahronian Way is to honor his contributions including time, talent and financial support.
Green Way – Parking Lot – Working with DEP and the space is not only accessible but also a very good space for EV charging.
- Keefe Bailey – Did not feel their concerns were taken seriously. He brought photos, traffic report (which he quoted from) as well as prior year’s notes regarding this situation. Traffic report suggested that the safe speed is only 19 MPH. (please see the recording at 20:09 for additional comments which were too in depth for me to capture accurately.)
- Sarah Baroud (corrected)– prepared comments – Follow up on Keefe’s comments. The engineering reports recommended guidelines regarding speeding guidelines. Traffic safety is proactive, and humans make mistakes. We must take this into consideration when creating plans. (see recording for additional commentary)
- Paul Langton (corrected) – Roadside features which create roadside friction – these features will both discourage trucks. Setting proactive guidelines including Pedestrian Crosswalk should be at 19 – curb extensions, median islands, and road closures are some of the options which should be considered.
- Karen Apuzzo-Langton – was unable to hear her so please check the recording (Please see recording at the 27:05 mark) for her comments.
- Dr. Liz Theiler – Norland Street – of the petitioners for Article 19 there were only 5 were present at Town Meeting. 281 people in total and a small number of petitioners showed up.
- Pam Zicko – Looking forward to sidewalks going in for public safety. She hopes this is reprioritized versus keeping it going further down the “to do” list.
- Mr. Aguilar – Lend support to the Lowland Street issue – the truck issue is a concern and despite having the large truck exclusion we need a new solution since current signage is not helping. Does not want to see the road closed but does feel an engineering solution is needed.
- Sharon James – Walks her dog daily – the truck was pulled so far to the side that she was not safe on the sidewalk. She’s also seen trucks stopping and waving traffic around them.
- Michael Barry – Regal Street – no slowing down, often has to back up on Regal because of trucks blocking the road. Constantly feels it is necessary to get out of the way for safety reasons (especially during high traffic hours)
One warrant presented by Ben Sparrell passed unanimously.
Comments from the Town Administrator
The Town Administrator and Envisioning Future Holliston are accepting feedback on the updated draft planning documents: https://berrydunn.mysocialpinpoint.com/holliston-strategic-plan
1750 Washington St went through a shift to accommodate growth and meet the needs of Parks & Rec, Youth & Family Services, HDAAC, and MetroWest Veterans; thanks to James Keast. Feedback has been positive regarding these changes.
COA has expressed interest in the Town doing due diligence on 120 Goulding St (adjacent property)
Tina and Travis toured a potential site for a new YMCA off Rt 135 in Ashland today Tina and Ben toured site in Ashland 12.5 acres which was donated to YMCA. It is adjacent to the T. They are building a multi-purpose facility in 2026. Early Childcare Center (multi community) among other facilities including gym, pools, youth, teens, and senior space and programming. They were able to get $5m in appropriations from the state. If you are interested in learning more, contact Tina or Ben.
Kathleen Buckley will sit in Travis’ chair next week (10/30) and introduce new Part-Time Economic Development Coordinator to the Board (Melanie Hamblen)
PARE Corp. update on approaching 100% design for bridge/dam and superstructure on Woodland Street for a 2024 project
Replacement of Facilities Manager Vehicle (totaled in accident) with a hybrid SUV for our Green Communities efforts will require additional funding (to discuss with BOS and Fincom)
Further discussion of potential School Committee Task Force (item was discussed at Thursday, 10/19 SC meeting) when appropriate Board Business
Appointments On-Call Firefighter:
Eusebio Gonzalez Sr. and Justin Moran – passed unanimously
Meeting Minutes of September 14th and September 18th, 2023 – minutes accepted unanimously
Clerk certified votes for Town Meeting, TA asked Rep. Arena-DeRosa to file the Special Legislation for a full liquor license for Central Café [process could take upwards of 18 months]
Tina Hein Article 6, which did not pass – The funds are available for other applicants and would like to recommit to addressing traffic management across Holliston but in particular at Lowland Industrial Park. Are there other options for accomplishing the goals of Article 6 which can be presented again – This issue must be reviewed and approached and asks that people approach it with an open mind – Holliston is not unique in traffic issues. Good traffic management is good for residents and businesses.
John Cronin – The town meeting was a good experience. Robust debate which we expected. The board understands that when we hear from the members of the community we still have an obligation to do what we think is right. We need to find an equitable solution. Feels there are some things we can do to address traffic issues. Signage on Washington/Woodland can be improved. He’s asked DPW to review. Encounters that Holliston PD encounters with large trucks in that area. We should ask Chief Stone be asked to attend a meeting and to je;[ put an enforcement plan in high-truck traffic areas. What type of interactions with increased enforcement, violations, citations, etc. Enforcement should be intensified and if it requires additional personnel then we need to look at that.
Stacey Raffi mentioned that there was some confusion regarding signage. Please see her comments at 1:01. Various comments regarding the lack of attention to the signage .
Karen Langton (corrected)– resident in Lowland Area – we need to get those measures taken asap – think about the people living in the area.
Meeting Adjourned: 8:05 PM