James Tetreault of Azimuth Land Design, LLC, the project engineer for the proposed Rice Pond Village project submitted a Rice Road South Main Street intersection upgrade plan that did not fully address the issues with the Rice Road / South Main Street intersection. Therefore, a resident submitted an alternative plan to mitigate all of the issues experienced by the neighborhood and other road users for discussion and refinement purposes.
Specific Issues To Be Solve
Based upon the input from members of the Millbury Planning Board, neighbors, and a conversation with the developer’s engineer, James Tetreault of Azimuth Land Design, LCC, an alternative plan for the intersection of Rice Road and South Main Street that addresses the navigation and safety issues and the visibility at the Rice Road incline/decline near 1-5 Rice Road and 2-6 Rice Road, for discussion and refinement purposes was submitted for consideration.
- The elimination of two traffic islands and a portion of Rice Road that blends into South Main Street. The owner of 1 Rice Road conveyed that there was a near miss of a collision when a driver did not stop at the recently installed stop sign. Longtime residents are used to merging onto South Main Street without stopping, unless necessary do to approaching traffic.
- Holding the existing curb line in front of 2 Rice Road as it blends from South Main Street into Rice Road.
- Adjusting a new curb line within the Rice Road Right Of Way to permit Millbury’s largest fire truck, tractor trailer trucks, travel travelers, delivery and passenger vehicles to navigate the transitions from South Main Street to Rice Road and vice versa while remaining in their own travel lane. A reflective painted traffic island should be installed to provide visual cues to always remain within the marked travel lanes, since this is currently a hazard to the users of Rice Road. This new traffic pattern should encourage stopping rather than merging.
- Add a stop line and sign at Rice Road at South Main Street.
- The owner of 1 Rice Road is amenable to the removal of the pines trees and stone wall in the Rice Road Right Of Way to create a safer roadway design for everyone. The owner of 1 Rice Road asked that the stone wall be reconstructed in accordance with currently Millbury regulations (i.e., on his property rather than in the Right Of Way).
- Curbs should be added along the frontage of 1 Rice Road and 2 Rice Road to help prevent drivers from driving over their lawns and property, as I have been told is currently occurring.
- The area where Rice Road currently blends into South Main Street should be reclaimed as a raised paver and landscape area to prominently relocate the monument along with the utility pole, streetlight, and fire hydrant. Reflective traffic bollards, as determined by the Millbury DPW or Police, should be added to this new paver and landscape area, due to this is a traffic pattern change, to protect the monument from damage and students from harm, if the Millbury School Department does not move the school bus stop to Rice Road across from Thomas Hill Road.
- The existing South Main Street sidewalk that ends at the power line side driveway of 1 Rice Road should be continued along the odd numbered side of Rice Road to a point perpendicular to the east side of Aldrich Avenue to permit safe pedestrian travel along Rice Road, which is a cut-through road that driver’s travel at a greater speed than they should. This sidewalk should be constructed to the standards as set forth in the Town of Millbury’s requirements.
- Rice Road should be constructed to the current standards for width and any existing pavement beyond that width should be removed.
- No parking, stopping, or standing signs should be added to both sides of Rice Road from 1 Rice Road (west property line) to 5 Rice Road (east property line) and 2 Rice Road (South Main Street) to 4 Rice Road (west property line), as vehicles parked, stopped, or standing in this area currently creates a visibility and safety hazard to the slope of Rice Road for users of the road.
- The grade should be reduced to smoothly blend from South Main Street to the apex of the hill near the property corners between 1 Rice Road and 3 Rice Road, and between 2 Rice Road and 4 Rice Road, to remove the existing two to three foot abrupt grade change in a short distance at South Main Street.
The new concept plan submitted to the Millbury Planning Board for the Rice Road South Main Street intersection should address the concerns of the neighborhood, other road users, and public safety, especially in light of recent accidents on South Main Street (one being a fatality) near this intersection and provide less confusion, a clear stop coming out of Rice Road onto South Main Street and most of all provide better access for the Millbury Fire Department, delivery vehicles, trucks with travel trailers, and passenger vehicles.