For Immediate Release
May 23, 2014
For More Information Contact:
In cooperation with neighborhood residents who cited the need for increased pedestrian safety, the Boston Transportation Department has recently installed traffic signals at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Clarkwood Street in Dorchester. The signals are currently operating in flash mode but will be fully operational by June 1 pending the completion of additional roadway enhancements that are scheduled to be made at this location.
“I am pleased to have this opportunity to invest in equipment that will improve traffic and pedestrian safety in Dorchester,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I’d like to thank the neighborhood residents who brought their concerns to BTD and who have volunteered their time to work side by side with department staff to see the project through to completion. We appreciate your help.”
To accommodate visually impaired residents of the neighborhood, the new signals will be outfitted with accessible pedestrian signals designed to inform pedestrians when it is safe to cross by emitting an audible walk indication in addition to the visual “Walk” signal. The audible indication has an automatic volume adjustment that responds to background noise. As a result, the walk indication is louder when the noise level is high, such as when a truck is passing by, and softer overnight or when there is a lull in traffic. In addition, raised (tactile) arrows are included with all pushbuttons to point visually impaired pedestrians to the correct crosswalk that is controlled by a particular pushbutton, and the new signals are equipped with locator tones to enable pedestrians with a visual disability to locate the pushbutton.
The signals controlling traffic on Blue Hill Avenue at both approaches to the intersection are located on overhead mastarms to maximize visibility on this wide and busy roadway, while standard traffic signal poles will control traffic movement on Clarkwood Street. Traffic signals on Blue Hill Avenue will remain on green except when a pedestrian pushbutton at the intersection is pressed or when loop detectors imbedded in the Clarkwood Street pavement indicate that there is traffic on Clarkwood Street that needs to proceed. Other enhancements being made to the intersection as part of this project include new crosswalks, stop lines and street name signs.
“Drivers are advised to pay close attention to the new traffic signals at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Clarkwood Street and to anticipate that the signals will become fully operational in the near future,” said Boston Transportation Department Interim Commissioner James E. Gillooly. “Safely sharing the road is the objective of everyone who has been involved in this project.”