Department of Public Works officials showed Town Councilors the first draft of improvements they would like to make to Common Street, which includes installing a rotary at the intersection with Orchard Street.
The intersection can be very dicey for motorists, and Public Works officials have been working on ways to make it safer.
Currently, cars on Common Street – which includes a long hill leading into the intersection – have no stop sign or light, but the intersection also includes not just one but two other streets – Orchard Street and Church Street. Both those streets have stop signs, but seeing cars coming down Common – particularly down the hill – can be difficult.
Tuesday night, Town Engineer Matt Schuman showed the Public Works subcommittee a drawing of the rotary.
Another change will be an alteration to the intersection of Common and Spring streets, right across from Watertown High School. The present configuration has Spring Street enter Common at an angle as Common curves. Spring is intersected by Marion Road creating a triangular island between Spring and Marion.
The new configuration would eliminate the island and combine Spring and Marion Streets and have one intersection with Common Street. Pedestrian crossings will also be improved, Schuman said.
Councilor Vincent Piccirilli asked Public Works officials to talk with Watertown Public School administration to make sure the area is designed to meet the needs of the high school. Specifically, he said, the school needs a place for buses to load when athletic teams are going to road games.
“Right now they park on the sidewalk,” Piccirilli said.
Schuman said the Department of Public Works will have an information session for the public sometime in the next few months, perhaps in late March.
Also during that meeting, redesign of Mt. Auburn Street will be discussed, he said. That project includes intersection improvements, some sections reduced from two lanes each way to one, and installing bike lanes, Schuman said.