A newly installed crosswalk leads to the skate park, pickleball courts—and the future senior center—allowing people to cross busy Quaker Meetinghouse Road with a little more confidence.
The crosswalk, which has flashing yellow lights and emits soft beeping sounds, got good reviews this week from skate park regulars.
“It keeps everyone more coordinated,” said Joey Pocus of Mashpee. “Cars have to stop when you’re crossing and the drivers have been good about stopping.”
Ava Hughes of Sandwich agreed.
“I feel safer crossing the road,” she said.
Assistant Town Engineer Samuel Jensen told the Sandwich Bikeways & Pedestrian Committee this week that the Department of Public Works also took the opportunity to install a sidewalk and ramps for bikes, skateboards and wheelchairs and clean up an area that had been covered with dirt and pebbles.
The work was funded by a $70,800 Massachusetts Department of Transportation grant.
“That’s fantastic,” said bike committee chairman Sean Polay after Mr. Jensen announced at the meeting on Monday, June 14, that the crosswalk had been completed.
The bike committee has been advocating for crosswalks on the busy streets leading to the recreational complex for more than a year. With a BMX track already under construction behind the Pop Warner Football Field, even more pedestrian and bike traffic is expected to flow through the area, the members have said.
The crosswalk—which leads into the shared entrance to the skate park, pickleball courts and the future Center For Active Living from the north, the Stop & Shop plaza side of Quaker Meetinghouse Road—has a push button for pedestrians, bike riders and skaters that triggers the flashing yellow lights and beeping sounds.
The lights warn drivers to slow down and stop. The newly paved sidewalk meanders into the woods behind the skate park and the vegetative buffer around the senior center.
The grant that paid for the work was awarded by MassDOT’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Program, which supports “projects that promote public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce by quickly providing new or repurposed space for socially-distanced walking, bicycling, dining, retail, and bus travel,” according to the award announcement letter sent to the town earlier this year.
The letter, from Jamey Tesler, MassDOT’s acting secretary and CEO, praised Mr. Jensen’s grant application.
“We received many applications and had a competitive applicant pool from which to select, and your application stood out,” Mr. Tesler wrote.
Mr. Jensen told the bike committee this week he is still hoping to secure grant money to add walk/don’t walk flashing crosswalk signals to existing traffic lights at other nearby intersections.