Friday, April 1, 2011

No Right Turn on Red Signs Removed from Somerville Ave.

This has been a hot topic on the ResiStat Blog with posters complaining that these signs needed to be removed. They were initially installed to better control traffic during the reconstruction of Somerville Ave., a state-run project. However, once the project was completed, the City was not able to remove the signs because they remained under the jurisdiction of the state. We’re happy to report that just this week, the Department of Public Works removed three signs on Wednesday, March 30 (at the intersections of Beacon St. and Somerville Ave., Somerville Ave. at Park St., and on School St. at Somerville Ave.). We’ll keep you updated on the future of the fourth sign.


  1. You should consider turning off the signals at Somerville Avenue and Beacon/Mossland entirely, at least as a 30- or 60-day experiment. I do not think they are really needed, and traffic flows better and backs up much less without them. There will be a great benefit in reduced air pollution and fuel consumption, which should be important to a city that wants to be green.

  2. Also, please look at the signals on Highland Avenue at School Street and Central Street. They do not appear to favor the main street (Highland) as they should, and stay green for the side streets long after all traffic has passed on them.

  3. Great. I thought about posting a "Well?" message earlier this week, because they were still there on Monday.

  4. Too bad that the No Turn on Red sign on Som Ave at Beacon has been removed. Pedestrians are the losers. The Beacon St. hotel was promoted as "transit-oriented development,"as the hotel site is only 1025 ft from Porter T. However, hotel guests who want to reach Porter T on foot must rely on the Beacon RR bridge crosswalk. NTOR for the last year made it a much safer and more inviting place to cross. If Somerville truly wants to encourage walking and transit-oriented development, it will re-install the NTOR sign on Som Ave at Beacon.

  5. Removing or turning off the signals entirely would be the best way to make the intersection pedestrian-friendly, as pedestrians would then always have the right-of-way at all crosswalks in every direction there

  6. Ron and Anonymous,

    Thank for the suggestions. I forwarded them all to Matt Dias, the Director of Traffic and Parking, so that he can review and consider them. If he has any specific comments in repsonse, I'll post them here. D-

  7. I am particularly thankful for the removal of the No Turn On Red sign at the corner of Beacon St. & Somerville Ave. This sign didn’t just inhibit car traffic flow turning right onto Somerville Ave. but also the flow turning left onto Somerville Ave. because there were so many more cars trying to get through the intersection during the green light, and the flow turning left onto Roseland St. because the chance of getting close enough to the intersection to make this turn was significantly reduced. It is also much more difficult to make the left hand turn from Oxford St. onto Beacon St. when the lanes are full of traffic.
    It is hard to imagine an intersection at which turning right on red provides more benefit at less cost to safety since the intersection has such extraordinary visibility for all parties, the red light is so very long compared to the green, and traffic backups rapidly impact other intersections.

  8. I noticed that yesterday. Thing is, no one stopped there anyway. It's like the stop sign at Lowell and Summer. Nobody stops there, either. I know because I stop and watch others.


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