South Street Intersection in Reading Tweaked, Paved, Lined
Why the sidewalk on the north side of South Street? Find out here.
The new intersection of South Street and Jacob Way, the access road for new condominiums on the former Addison Wesley site, is finished, down to the final layer of topcoat and the road lines.
The curb was altered “a little” from the April layout “to facilitate access by emergency equipment,” specifically, fire trucks, Town Engineer George Zambouras told Patch.
The intersection was paved a little over a week ago, on June 8, Zambouras said and striped early this past week.
The design of the intersection, which generated some controversy, was approved by the selectmen, with residents’ input, Zambouras said, when Pulte Homes came in to develop the 25-acre site. The design added a curve on South Street at Jacob Way. (See the photo attached.)
The idea of redesigning the intersection goes back “well over six years,” Zambouras said, with the same goal -- to reduce cut-through traffic and speeding on South Street.
People wanted a four-way stop sign at the new intersection, according to the town engineer: for vehicles traveling both east and west on South Street; exiting from Jacob Way; and from the real estate office on Jacob Way.
But stopping traffic headed west on South Street from Main Street at the new intersection might back vehicles up onto Main Street, the town engineer said. So drivers headed in that direction have no stop.
Questions have been raised about the sidewalk on the north side of South Street, from Main Street to just west of the intersection. The town’s Community Planning and Development Commission requested that the original sidewalk there be replaced, Zambouras told Patch.
There’s sidewalk on only one side of Jacob Way and on only one side of the road within the Reading Woods development, Zambouras noted. The South Street and Jacob Way sidewalks connect via a crosswalk at the west side of the intersection.
Putting a sidewalk on the south side of South Street instead of the north side would create what the town engineer described as a “sidewalk to nowhere.”