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Traffic Hearing Will Include Bicycle Safety Requests

Traffic Hearing Will Include Bicycle Safety Requests

PROVINCETOWN — Town meeting may be the textbook example of New England democracy — but that’s only because the textbook writers haven’t been to the…

Thursday, Oct 20

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PROVINCETOWN — Town meeting may be the textbook example of New England democracy — but that’s only because the textbook writers haven’t been to the annual traffic hearing here.

Once a year, anyone can submit a proposal to improve traffic flow or safety and try to persuade the select board to vote for it. Many proposals are highly specific — moving a parking space by two feet, for instance; others affect traffic patterns town-wide.

The deadline for proposals is Oct. 28, so the agenda for this year’s hearing on Nov. 7 is not yet posted. Bicycle committee Vice Chair Chris Mathieson has already filed four proposals. Two of them aim to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along the Winthrop Street corridor, which he says is a safer alternative to Shank Painter Road. The third asks the town to hire a traffic engineer to study safety on Commercial Street; the fourth proposes bicycle-based luggage taxis, which Mathieson says could encourage people to take the ferry from Boston instead of driving.

State crash data prove that there’s a problem, Mathieson said. The Commercial Street corridor is among the most dangerous 5 percent of roadways on Cape Cod for both pedestrian-involved crashes and bicycle-involved crashes, according to the Dept. of Transportation’s crash dashboard. Between 2010 and 2019, the records show 21 bicycle-involved crashes in that area and 24 pedestrian-involved crashes, including one “incapacitating injury” in 2012. Provincetown’s Commercial Street corridor is in the top 5 percent of locations on Cape Cod for both pedestrian-involved […]

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