Westborough Bike & Pedestrian Committee Progress

Westborough Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee progress as of January 14, 2014

What I like most about being on the Westborough BPAC (Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee) is getting the kind of things done we reported to our Board of Selectmen last night.

First, our charge:

  • Improve bike and pedestrian safety and accessibility in town.
  • Build multi-use trails.

Here’s where we are since our progress report last spring.

1. BWALT (Boston-Worcester Air Line Trolley) multi-use trail

  • Runs 18 1/5 miles along the abandoned trolley line right-of-way from Shrewsbury at the Worcester border, through Northborough, Westborough, Southborough and into Framingham.
  • In Westborough, we’re obtaining easements on the east side of the trail and are planning to begin clearing and construction of 1.3 miles from Park St. to East Main St.


2. Proposing a town-wide bike and pedestrian plan in coordination with associated town departments – that have all been enthusiastically supportive – to address:

3. Successfully getting town support to replace pedestrian crosswalk signs that look like this…


…with 3-piece hi-vis crosswalk signs that look like this. So far, 13 new sets of signs have been installed by our Department of Public Works with more to be installed in the spring. Of note, the request for the sign below that linked sidewalks on opposite sides of a road was initiated by…

…this very detailed picture submitted by a resident. Great stuff!

4. Revisiting the proposed idea of installing recessed road reflectors in crosswalks. The problem with recessed reflectors, like the one shown below, is that they can be road hazards for bikes and motorcycles, they don’t provide much reflection as noted in drives on roads that have them in other towns, they require a road integrity degrading cut in the pavement that is particularly problematic here in the Northeast, and they’re expensive to install.

We’re currently looking at other options to highlight crosswalks specifically only when they are being actively used by a pedestrian. More later.

5. Working successfully with our town DPW to reorient storm drain grates that used to look like this so that…

…they look like this and are bike safe.

Thanks very much to everyone involved. Looking forward to getting more done that no-kidding helps “lay rubber on the road”.

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