This section will discuss the transportation goals, objectives, and actions for Charlemont that were created in response to meetings with the Charlemont Master Planning Committee and from the Visioning Forum. The topics to be discussed are traffic calming, parking, pedestrian transportation infrastructure, and the condition of local bridges and roads.
Charlemont residents are concerned about the safety of their roads. Traffic passing through the center of town is a threat to pedestrian safety. Large commercial vehicles and other motorists speed through the town center, endangering pedestrians and disrupting residents and adjacent business owners. There are also roads within the town that don't have posted speed limits.
Three actions need to be taken in order to make the roads safer in Charlemont: first, safety and visual amenities need to be installed to slow traffic. These may include marked crosswalks (to allow pedestrians to safely cross the street), narrow road markings, and street trees (to give drivers a visual reminder that they are in town and need to slow down); second, curb extensions and raised crosswalks should be created in the village center; lastly, the town should consider establishing and posting speed limits on all roads throughout the town.
To better serve the community, Charlemont should increase its supply of parking space. First, an inventory needs to be taken to assess the current number of available parking spaces within the town. After conducting the parking survey and determining it needs additional parking, the town can ascertain how many spots shall be added and where those spots shall be located. Other strategies to increase the supply of parking would be to use the Hawlemont Elementary School for additional parking on weekends and to coordinate with private landowners and business owners to allow public parking on their property.
The pedestrian transportation infrastructure (sidewalks and public transportation) in Charlemont needs to be repaired and expanded where necessary. Existing sidewalks must be repaired and possibly widened, and additional sidewalks should be added wherever necessary. Charlemont should promote a bus service along Route 2.
Charlemont owns and maintains nearly fifty miles of roads and has thirty-three bridge crossings. Many of these roads and bridges are in need of repair. In regard to local roads, Charlemont should conduct a pavement management study to assess the condition of these roads and continue to work with the Route 2 Scenic Byway Committee. Additionally, since several of the roads in town aren't paved, the Select Board should work with the town on its dirt road management program to ensure that these roads are properly maintained. In regard to local bridges, the town should continue to work with FRCOG to encourage bridge construction and refurbishment projects.
GOAL: To improve public safety, traffic flow, and pedestrian movement in the town of Charlemont.
Objective 1: Create a more pedestrian friendly village center by installing safety and visual amenities
1.1 Work with the Massachusetts Highway Department to install safety improvements: marked crosswalks, traffic calming measures such as narrow road markings, and planting street trees along Route 2.
1.2 Improve the condition of town roads and enhance their safety by installing curb extensions and raised crosswalks within the village center.
Objective 2: Increase the supply and accessibility of municipal parking.
2.1 Conduct an inventory to assess the available number of municipal parking spaces within the town.
2.2 Coordinate with private landowners and business owners to acquire additional village parking.
2.3 Consider using Hawlemont Elementary School for additional parking on weekends.
Objective 3: Improve pedestrian transportation infrastructure.
3.1 Expand or promote a bus route from Charlemont to Greenfield.
Objective 4: Improve conditions of local bridges.
4.1 Work cooperatively with FRCOG to undertake road and bridge construction projects.
Objective 5: Evaluate the roadways in town
5.1 Continue to work with Route 2 Scenic Byway Committee.
5.2 Conduct a pavement management study.
5.3 Work with town on a dirt road improvement management program.