By Audrey Richardson
Special To The Standard
At a July 5th meeting, Woodstock Village Trustees approved a change in road markings and the addition of two new delineator posts at the Elm Street and Central Street. The signs and posts will be used to enforce the long standing no left turn rule.
“In spite of the signs, and what some people consider an overabundance of signs, people are still making left hand turns,” said Woodstock Town Manager Phil Swanson. As it is, the intersection is marked with signs notifying motorist of the rule as well as a sign notifying motorist of the over $200 fee charged by the State of Vermont for this action.
Village Trustee Bob Pear put together a series of drawings and plans for the placement of these new markers. In Pear’s drawings, the new markings and marker posts accentuate a curve to the right and will help guide or force motorists to turn right only. And although the posts have been ordered and are expected in three weeks, Pear’s plans are only ideas at this point.
“They are plans, good plans,” said Swanson about Pear’s intersection map. The proposed plans include delineator placement on either side of the island as well as bold paint. “The intention is to try to use paint and delineators to enforce the though of making a right turn, if you want to turn left,” said Swanson. The town has considered installing granite curbing, but due to the cost of such a product, they want to try the paint and delineators first. Granite curbing was installed on River Street a number of years ago and proved to be a successful addition.
“We need a traffic calming device and granite curbing is really nice, but is expensive. We want to do a trial run with painting and if it works we may do granite curbing later on,” said Swanson.
Swanson met on Monday, July 18 with Rita Seto from the Two Rivers Regional Planning Commission on site to discuss Pear’s ideas. The next step for the town is synchronizing the proposed plans with state regulations using the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Swanson described this manual as the “Bible” for signing intersections and Swanson makes it clear that all plans must conform to the Manual.
According to Swanson and Pear, the topic at hand has been in discussion for a while and the correct way for drivers to direct themselves eastward at the Elm intersection is to circle the green. “Ideally, the center island should be reshaped to accomplish this, but of course that would be much more costly,” said Trustee Bob Pear.
Other Trustees have expressed frustration that the State did not design the island more efficiently to accomplish this during the Route 4 repaving project in 2007- 2008.
Now that the delineators are in order, Swanson predicts the installation and new paint may happen in as soon as one month, pending approval of Pear’s proposed plan. “It is going along we are moving forward. Progress is sometimes slow,” said Swanson. The town also plans install delineators in other crosswalks around the Village to slow traffic and protect pedestrians.
This article first appeared in the July 21st print edition of the Vermont Standard.