Thursday, June 28, 2012

Live reporting - Public Hearing - Downtown Project

Lawrence Cash, MassDOT project manager for the project

Please sign on the attendance sheet to be part of the public record

Tom Emerick
Jerry Doherty

Gene Kegan,
Larry Bollanger

Melanie Sprague, transcriber of hearing

Page 4 of the handout covers the hearing procedures
Federal Aid funding, 80%, MassDOT does the remaining 20%
$5.8M expected total cost of project, construction expected in Summer of 2013

Right of Way Procedure (Doherty)
Franklin to acquire all necessary rights for the design and implementation of the project
procedures must follow Federal guidelines
right of way certificate is required before the project can be advertised
can answer any questions during the open hearing portion

Weston & Sampson to describe the project
improvement meant to allow folks to pass through Franklin center
mean to improve the aesthetics of the downtown, with plants, lighting, etc.
encourage private investment along the corridor, upgrade the surfaces, sidewalks and roadways through out the downtown
the geographic area is much greater than the Triangle originally mentioned 10 years ago

meant to bring back some life to the downtown area and improve the economic conditions
new sidewalks
raised crosswalk at Dean College to force traffic to slow down
pedestrians, bicycles and cars will be able to live together as one
one of the major changes is to return to 2-way traffic

traffic patterns currently crossing each other with directional flow to 495 and others coming the other way to head to the T station
40% of the traffic is attempting to get to 495 and that means down Main St to Emmons and then towards 495

with signaling and 2-way traffic it would improve the fire dept response time to the northern section of the community

intending to keep the existing improvements to water infrastructure and drainage that the Town has already accomplished

Hearing procedure
solicit input, may not be able to answer all the comments or questions
identify self, include spelling of last name
a mailing sheet is available for submitting additional comments
common practice to allow elected officials to speak first

Tina Powderly, Franklin Town Council
thanks for your work on this project for so long
how is the extra incidents driven by the project that the Police, DPW, etc would incurr be handled?
Traffic details would be handled by the project

Judy Pfeffer, Town Council
is the water trough part of the future of this project?
Yes, it will be just about in the same spot
how many lights will there be?
Four in the space of about 2500 ft

Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi, DPW director
this project would not have happened with out Sen Kennedy and Rep Vallee
The PWED project has provided a taste of what this will be like
MassHighway, your fun to work with at times but we get through it

The hearing is now open to the public

Brian Henderson, High St
potholes are all over High St, is that going to be covered as part of this project?
Cantoreggi - High St is planned for with Town funds, we'll work with the contractor to do it about the same time

Lisa Piana - Downtown Partnership
Been working on this for 7 years, thanks for the work thus far
very excited about the project, about 170 members and most of the downtown businesses

Brian Kelly, Dean College
we have been working with Franklin and very thrilled with the work being planned
the students are a big part of the pedestrian traffic and they should be safer with this

Ficco, Highland St
trying to like this project
large number of traffic signals a concern, Summer St inter-section is a problem
consider a roundabout? it would slow down the traffic, the traffic in the morning really flies by to make the lights at Cottage St
I question putting the monster traffic device in front of Dean
if the purpose of the device is to slow down, you hit a traffic sign shortly after
consideration should be made for pedestrian overpasses, the land is available
third domotory being added, consider an overpass there too
parking is a problem, it used to be with the 2-way, you could cruise one way, turn around and find a spot going the other way

Chris Bond, Murphy Business Office
how long will the metered spots be interrupted downtown during construction?
Larry - during construction, we would work with the town to phase the construction, provide alternatives, provide updates to know what is happening during the construction

Andy BIssanti, Town Council
Consideration for angled parking?
For a safety factor, the Federal funds wouldn't be allowed

Steve Cook, Crecent St
Who is ultimately responsible for timeliness of coming in and on budget?
We have it capped at roughly $5.8M, during the design phases, we would be monitoring the costs
Town designed project with Federal funds overseen by MassDOT
once it goes to construction, we assign a resident engineer, we also set the duration for the project, we will pay up to 10% over the budget but then the Town would pick up the remainder, we generally staying within the budget
Cantoreggi, water line planned for Crecent St this year, East St/West St just went to bid
there is a lot of money going on to improve the downtown

Glenn Jones, Town Council
I also live downtown, I would like a staffed communications function
we need to ensure everyone is aware of what's going on, any issues or problems with changes in service in the area. There are other things going on in Town at the same time so while it good to get it all done at the same time, it is also necessary to keep everyone informed. Discuss what forms or types of communication, Facebook, Twitter, town website, etc. keep up to date with schedules

Bryan Taberner, Director Planning and Development
in response to Councilor Jones, the Town Administrator assigned Maxine Kinehart as key contact during the PWED project, we'd like to use the same process, it worked last time

Any further questions or comments at this time?

Reminder on the last sheet as a mail in sheet, send it within 10 business days
Before I close this hearing we will be here as long as you are interested
thank you for attending and providing this meeting room

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