Special Town Meeting

The Board of Directors of the Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce urge your attendance at a Special Town Meeting.
December 9th, 7:00pm
Hopkinton Middle School
88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton, MA 01748

         Please plan on attending

             The following was prepared by Citizens Advocacy Group FOR the Main Street Corridor Project, Hopkinton, MA

 

You are needed Monday night at 7PM in Middle School for Special Town meeting 

  • Town Meeting can be an unpredictable forum – only those attending call the shots:   

  • The article on easements requires only a 50% threshold to stop the town’s well planned and fully funded Main Street improvements. 

  • Many important Town Meeting articles over the years have passed or failed by a SINGLE vote. Don’t let that ONE VOTE be yours – please show up to ensure the broadest community interest is represented!
     

Some project highlights

  • The project is fully funded and in final design stages, with recent accommodations made based on input from all parties, and current design spending on target with project expectations

  • The town's share (only 22% of the total project cost) is fully funded by Town Meeting appropriations from 2010 and 2018- the remaining 78% comes from state and federal funds, grants, and mitigation from related projects

  • Over 90 public meetings have been held relating to this project since 2003, including multiple town meeting votes and DOT forums to gather feedback and move the project forward 

  • Safety is a key theme of this project, which balances many requirements: vehicles, pedestrians, bikes, parking, property, signalization, drainage, intersection alignment.  ADA compliance throughout enhances safety for all including wheel chairs and strollers, making our town center more accessible and safe for a growing populations. Bike lanes have been designed to minimize use of full right-of-way and to enhance safety over current conditions via a bike path separated from the road and sidewalk that puts bikes on a separate path away from moving and parked vehicles. The Common gains enhancements to its appearance, functionality and safety at Marathon Way. 

  • We are a growing community. Growing communities require infrastructure investment.  After years in the MassDOT project pipeline, Hopkinton has a well vetted plan and a cost-effective way of getting this done now.    
     

What can you do to help? 

  1. Please attend Special Town Meeting, 7PM, Monday, December 9th, at the Hopkinton Middle School auditorium. 

  2. Forward this email and attachment to your friends and neighbors to help us drive attendance at Special Town Meeting

Have you ever driven through another Massachusetts town and noticed the upgrades and enhancements to their main corridors?   Those towns have already implemented the MassDOT project partnership model.  After years in the pipeline, now is Hopkinton's time.  Let's not throw this away due to misunderstandings or lack of attendance at Special Town Meeting.  See you Monday at 7PM at the Middle School!

Main Street Corridor Project Facts

Prepared by Hopkinton Select Board November 5, 2019

 

Project Concerns
       This project will not improve traffic in downtown Hopkinton.

 

Project Fact:

●    Realigned 85/135 Intersection to almost 100 percent straight

●    Queue lengths and delay will improve at intersection .

●    Complete Accessibility Throughout Project Duration

●    Separated Bike Lane

●    New pavement

●    Complete New Drainage System

●    New Traffic Signals

●    Significant Aesthetic Improvements: Undergrounding of Utilities, Increased Green Space, Period Lighting, Streetscape Improvement (benches, trash receptacles, bike racks)

●    Improving The Safety And Efficiency Of The Corridor For All Users (Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Motorists).

 

The design could have included additional lanes at the 85/135 intersection, but on-street parking spaces would have been lost.  Because our businesses need parking, retaining as much on-street parking as possible was prioritized over level of service improvements that the additional lanes would have provided.

Project Concerns
        Project is a waste of money. All the funds should go towards school projects.

Project Fact:

The latest construction cost for the Project is $15M+. The residents of Hopkinton are responsible for $3M. The $3M Town portion is for the undergrounding of utilities and other non-eligible items (ornamental lights, design, appraisal services, special treatments, etc).

 

Should the Town obtain additional grants the residents would be responsible for less than $3M.  If the project is cancelled the funds will not be available for schools. School funding must be a separate town meeting article.

Project Concerns

       Save money by just paving Main Street and fixing the sidewalks. 

Project Fact:

The cost to simply mill and overlay Main Street (i.e. repave) and repair the sidewalks will likely cost the town more than $3M and would not correct drainage issues, improve pedestrian safety, or include landscaping or aesthetic enhancements. An estimate is currently being developed for an estimated cost of such a project. It was not completed at the time this update was being prepared. The intersection would not be straightened.

 

Project Concerns

       Town Common is being reduced by up to 7,000 sf.

Project Fact:

        There is NO LOSS of any Town Common space.

 

Project Concerns

       Bike Lanes should not be part of the Project

Project Fact:

Bike accommodations are required to be included in the Project or the ($8M+) State/Federal Funding will not be available. In addition, taking bicycles out of the stream of car & truck traffic and putting them in a separated lane improves safety for both bicycles and vehicles. The separated two-way bike lane provides an important extension of the Center Trail through the downtown and then toward Hopkinton State Park and Ashland. It is part of the regional Upper Charles Trail, which will connect Sherborn, Holliston, Milford, Hopkinton, Ashland and Framingham.  Milford and Holliston have completed their portions.

 

Without this connection through the downtown, there will always be a gap between the Center Trail (future Upper Charles Trail) and the easterly portion of the Upper Charles Trail, which is preliminarily designed to extend out behind Center School, heading east.

 

 

 

Project Concerns

       Town did not notify property owners included in the Warrant for the May 2018 Annual Town Meeting under Article 47.

 

Project Fact:

The 2018 Annual Town Meeting warrant was posted as required by local and state law and was available online in advance of Town Meeting. Proposed Annual Town Meeting motions were also available in advance of Town Meeting. The warrant included the article in question (#47) along with all the parcel numbers.

 

Additionally, most of the property owners included in the project area were sent letters in November 2012 notifying them that temporary and/or permanent easements were being proposed on the property.

 

Project Concerns

      Town is taking property with easements.

Project Fact:

An easement is access. Property is not being “taken” with temporary or permanent easements. Temporary easements will only be used by the contractor while work is being completed in front of that property.  Temporary easements go away when the project is done.  Permanent right of way easements are required if the proposed project impedes onto private property and will require permanent public access after the Project is completed. The property under the permanent easement is still private property, the property is not being taken. Property owners will be compensated for every easement granted.

 

There are approximately 87 temporary easements and 57 permanent easements. All easements will be professionally appraised and the owners compensated at market value. Moving the utility poles behind the sidewalk prompted the need for the majority of the permanent easements. The permanent easements in these cases are for the wires overhead. The remainder are in relation to 4 Main Street businesses in the downtown across from Town Hall.

 

Project Concerns

       Access to driveways and businesses will be blocked. 

Project Fact:

Access will be maintained. There may be occasional delays as with any roadway construction project.

 

Click here to see Downtown Corridor Layouts and more

 

Project Concerns

       On street parking is being lost.

Project Fact:

Overall, the project is increasing the number of spaces and all spaces will meet current design and safety standards.

 

Some on street parking in certain areas is regrettably being lost (in front of Muffin House). All effort is being made to provide new parking in close vicinity to these areas (in this case new parking on Main Street in front of Hopkinton Drug). In 2019, annual Town Meeting voted to develop a public parking lot on property adjacent to the Muffin House and purchased another property on Walcott Street to develop Town Hall parking.

 

Project Concerns

       Some of the existing stone walls will be lost.

Project Fact:

No stone walls will be lost. Some existing walls would be moved in accordance with special historic preservation specifications.  Stone wall relocation within the Historic District has been approved by the Historic District Commission.

 

Project Concerns

       Two-way bike lanes are unsafe and uncommon.

Project Fact:

Two-way bike lanes along roadways are indeed uncommon in the United States, but they do exist - and they are a fairly new concept.  This two-way bike lane is an extension of the two-way Center Trail, and will become part of the two-way Upper Charles Trail. People who use bike paths are used to two-way bicycle traffic - the only difference here is that the two-way bike path is along the road. 

 

The two-way bike path would be separated from the roadway by elevation (it is higher up than the road) and by a vertical curb.  It is not anticipated that a two-way bike lane here would be any more unsafe than the two-way Upper Charles Trail in Milford, for example.  Bike lanes are a requirement to receive State and Federal funding ($8M+) for this project.

 

 

 

 

Main Street Corridor Project Fact Sheet

Prepared by Hopkinton Select Board November 5, 2019

 
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