The final stage of the infrastructure bond, that voters approved in 2012 to upgrade downtown intersections, is on the horizon.
By Robin Jovanovich
The final stage of the infrastructure bond, that voters approved in 2012 to upgrade downtown intersections, is on the horizon. City Planner Christian Miller and City Engineer Ryan Coyne confirmed that 80 percent of the design work is done for improvements at Elm Place and Smith Street as they meet Purchase Street.
Included in the plan are traffic-calming bumpouts, more space to put out amenities such as “big belly” trash receptacles, and a greater variety of trees (Cleveland pear, October Glory maple, male ginkgo). Elm Place will become a full-stop intersection. At Smith, the street will be raised. Pedestrian visibility at Elm will be significantly improved because the parking spaces on the east side of Purchase, currently blocking the crosswalk will be eliminated.
“The plan has a pedestrian orientation,” said Miller. “One of the goals is to create a safer environment. We didn’t design it with police presence in mind.”
The thinking behind the plan was in-house, with input from the Central Business District Committee; the drawing was outsourced.
The preliminary plan has been presented to the Rye Chamber of Commerce. The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the design in the coming months.
The final piece of the bond plan is the Boston Post Road wall project. “We’re thinking of a road diet there and a rapid flashing beacon to enable residents of Loudon Woods and Beaumont Park to cross safely.”
Based on experience and reality, the downtown improvements won’t begin until next spring, Coyne and Miller said.