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Dover Selectmen Approve Removal of Raised Crosswalks on Dedham Street

The raised surfaces will be removed some time during the summer, according to officials.

The Dover Board of Selectmen voted to approve the removal of the two highly contested raised crosswalks on Dedham Street at their meeting Tuesday night.

The crosswalks have been a point of contention by some residents of Dedham Street who say that the raised surfaces cause a lot of noise when large trucks drive over them throughout the day.

“When these were first put in it was to try to reduce the speed and to enhance safety for anybody walking across the street,” Selectmen Chair James Dawley said. “I guess there’s no clear answer whether it has reduced speed. Everyone has an opinion, everyone. I think it has, other people think it hasn’t.”

The Board voted unanimously to remove the speed bumps on the recommendation of a who said that the raised crosswalks are inappropriate for a road such as Dedham Street.

Dover Police Chief Peter McGowan believes that the removal of the raised surfaces will cause operators to drive more quickly down Dedham Street.

“With the raised crosswalks I’d just like to go on record saying that there will be an increase in speeding” when the raised crosswalks are removed, McGowan said.

McGowan said that he is hoping that an increased police presence will deter drivers from speeding down the busy road but the police cannot be there at all hours of the day.

“There will be an issue with speed and I just want to go on the record that the police department will do everything in it’s power to be down there as often as possible,” he said. “We’ll do as much as we can to re-educate the public and retrain them as to what we’re expecting down there but it’ll be a process.”

Dedham Street resident Joan Panek said that while the issue of the noise was a major concern of those living closest to the crosswalks, safety and reducing speeding on the road should remain a top priority.

“I do want to make sure that the Board understands that while our main concern that we’ve been most vociferous about has been the noise from the speed bumps, I really want you to understand that we are all still concerned with safely crossing the street and the speed of cars. So those issues shouldn’t be thought as of less importance to us," said Panek.

In addition to the removal of the speed bumps other short-term measures that will be taken include cutting back brush and adding more signage to the area to let drivers know of the speed limit on the street.

The raised speed bumps will be removed the next time the road is resurfaced. According to Craig Hughes, Superintendent of Streets in Dover, the changes to the road will be done over the summer before school starts back up again.

Joan Panek May 30, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I am sincerely grateful to the Selectmen for voting to remove the raised crosswalks on Dedham street due to the extreme noise created by trucks going over the bumps. As I said at the meeting last night, removing the raised crosswalks is the right thing to do, but we are still left the original problem - controlling the speed of cars over that stretch of road, and permitting the safe crossing of Dedham Street. We who have argued so long for the removal of the speed bumps detest the fact that motorists may interpret this removal as an indication that they do not need to slow down. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are grateful that the Dover police will do everything they can to encourage people to slow down on that road. There will still be crosswalks at those locations, and we are appalled to think that a serious accident could occur there. Keeping the signage and the crosswalks SHOULD give all drivers the message : SLOW DOWN and watch for pedestrians.
Will E May 31, 2012 at 01:39 AM
It was absurd that the town could put speed bumps in the middle of a public way in the first place. Funny that now they have to remove them.
ellie herd June 02, 2012 at 12:25 PM
police back up to deter speeders is great, but they cannot be there all the time. how to educate people to slow down a little? if you can figure that out, please do the same for haven street which is so dangerous to walk on because of the fast moving cars.

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