There will eventually be a crosswalk across Palmer Avenue to Goodwill Park.
“It is unquestioned this improvement will be occurring,” Falmouth Town Manager Julian M. Suso said at the Monday, September 9, board of selectmen meeting.
The board unanimously voted to allow town engineer James E. McLoughlin file construction documents related to the proposed crosswalk with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MassDOT approval is required as the crosswalk crosses the state-owned portion of Palmer Avenue.
The plan is to install the crosswalk at the spur, an existing path that connects the Shining Sea Bikeway to Palmer Avenue. Once across the street, bikers and pedestrians will be able to ascend an ADA-accessible 8-feet-wide path that will connect to an existing road within Goodwill Park.
The proposed crosswalk will be signalized using a high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon, also called a HAWK beacon. In addition to the stop lights and walk signals, there will be stop bars and signs warning drivers of the impending crosswalk.
“The only time those lights are active is when somebody presses the button,” Mr. McLoughlin said. “Once someone activates the push button there, those lights will initially flash yellow, go to a solid yellow and then a solid red.”
Once the lights turn red, the walk signal will activate.
With the plans transferred to MassDOT, he expects there will be a six-month comment and review period prior to approval.
“There have had a lot of comments, but they have been supportive of the project,” Mr. McLoughlin said.
Though the crosswalk crosses a state road, he expects funding its installation will be a town expense. He estimated the cost of work at $200,000.
Given the price, Selectman Douglas C. Brown asked whether the town should consider another option, such as an overpass or a bridge. Mr. McLoughlin said that would be much more expensive.
“If you’re looking at a bridge or overpass, you’re probably looking at millions of dollars,” he said.
Crosswalk to Goodwill advocate Elizabeth W. Saito said the crosswalk is worth the price tag.
“I realize it is expensive, but it is worth every penny,” Ms. Saito said.
She thanked the DPW for its efforts in moving the crosswalk project forward.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “This is wonderful.”
Scott R. Lindell, chairman of the bicycle and pedestrian committee, said it was “great to see this kind of progress.”
“This is the first time I’ve had a chance to look at [the plans], and I think it makes great sense,” Mr. Lindell said.