117/Lincoln Road Interesection Improvements
South Great Road (State Route 117) carries extremely heavy commuter traffic, particularly during morning and evening rush hours. Lincoln Road, which has become an increasingly popular “cut through”, crosses Route 117 and connects residential neighborhoods with Town services and destinations such as the MBTA Commuter Rail stop at Lincoln Station and school campus.
Residents have voiced concern regarding safety for pedestrians and bicyclists when crossing Route 117. High operating speeds, complicated geometrics, and poor sightlines have been identified as contributing factors to this dangerous situation. Chief Kennedy of the Lincoln Police Department notes that in addition to the accidents that have occurred at this location, there are many “near misses”. This is a key intersection on one of the most heavily travelled roads in Lincoln. This intersection connects neighborhoods to Lincoln Station and Mass Audubon and is ranked by MAPC’s Local Access as a road segment that people walking or biking from their homes use to access school, shops, restaurants, parks, transit stops, and other key destinations. This intersection was also identified as a high priority by our Complete Street Public Forums and surveys, as many residents and families with small children avoid crossing here due to safety concerns. Improvements include, but are not limited to: • Pedestrian refuge island(s) • Crosswalks • Pavement markings or signage • Traffic calming measures This project will include geometric modifications to this intersection that are intended to encourage appropriate operating speeds and enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing Route 117. While a project to address overall intersection layout and geometrics would be a major undertaking and require a significant planning and engineering effort, the Town proposes to focus on steps that will improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as perform a traffic calming function. Within the intersection, the Town proposes to add width using an appropriate taper of the outside edge. This widening will allow construction of a refuge island in the middle of Route 117. The island will be similar to islands the Town previously installed at another location along Route 117 to enhance safety at a commuter rail grade crossing.