Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Live reporting - Downtown Project

Presentation by DPW on Downtown Project 

Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi, Director of the DPW

older presentation with some minor updates as the details were finalized
A copy of the presentation is contained in the document (PDF)

Currently a left turn on Main St from West Central is allowed, it won't be when Main St goes two way

the water trough, sign and holiday tree can still fit on the island on the bridge

some of the trees maybe replaced but there will be trees located downtown

the crosswalk at Dean will be moved to the corner on W Central St (away from the position in the middle where it is today)

discussion began in 2002, MassDOT construction bids will open in Jan 2014
MassDOT will be running the job, DPW will be coordinating but not controlling the work

'it is going to be a pain, there will be some aggravation downtown until it is finished"

Q - will there be a place holder for the veterans flags?
A - you can use banners or flags as banners

Q - horrendous record of taking care of trees downtown
A - we do the best we can with the budget we have, the budget has been cut since I have been here. Eventually they will need maintenance. The most difficult thing is about urban trees is when they have to get taken down. Most street trees will fail due to the conditions downtown.

I want those trees to succeed downtown, that is the way we want to go. Some of those there are dense leaf trees are not good for that location. Looking at Pennsylvania Elm trees

Q - what do we do with the parking meters? The flags currently hang off the parking meters?
A - We have been meeting with the Downtown Partnership and will be coming back to the Council for a decision, we have time for that.

Q - a tree adoption program?
A - It is a great idea and works as long as the business owner, I don't wan't to be the tree police.

Lisa Piana - I can check with others where it has been done to see if this is something we can do here
We want the trees to grow and not block the signage. We should have a lot less headache with the trees planned

Q - What is the crosswalk going to do to the plows?
A - the first time through they'll learn, it shouldn't be a problem

Q - I was at Dean the other day and they are concerned about the construction
A - Actually I don't know when it will really switch, they have more engineers than we do. They would have to complete the crosswalks, sidewalks, etc.

Q - bike lane?
A - No, no room for it downtown. The roads downtown is too narrow

Q - can we put this on the web?
A - once we have a contractor and updates, we'll be sharing more. On the Franklin webpage
We could hold a pubic hear so we know dates and schedules. It will really be up to MassDOT

Q - We should have had a say in these details.
A - We need to know the answers, the residents are not going to want to go to DOT or to elsewhere

Lisa Piana - I just want to add a couple of comments. The Partnership is very excited for this project. now it is going to start, they are very nervous. It will be horrible during but after, it will be beautiful. Once we get the dates, it will be available on our website as well.

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