Falmouth Heights Resident Frustrated At Slow Pace Of Town Government

Falmouth resident Timothy J. Doonan of Worcester Avenue has waited seven months for an answer to his request for a stop sign, and at the July 28 selectmen’s meeting, board members deferred voting for two more weeks.

Falmouth Board of Selectmen chairman Mary (Pat) Flynn said they need a recommendation from the traffic advisory board and more recent traffic data to determine whether a stop sign is needed on the corner of Worcester and Nantucket avenues. The traffic advisory committee has recommended that the DPW trim vegetation near the intersection but has left it up to the selectmen to decide whether to erect a stop sign.

“Frankly, I don’t think they’re doing their job,” said town manager Julian M. Suso on the lack of decision by the advisory board.

The committee’s directive is to analyze and make recommendations concerning specific traffic issues.

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Selectman Susan L. Moran suggested the selectmen ask the advisory committee to meet soon and make a decision using current traffic information. A recent committee report to selectmen states there were no reported accidents there, but it has been seven months since they checked.

“We don’t have the tools to make a decision at this time,” Ms. Moran said.

Mr. Doonan said he followed town protocol and it really is a matter of safety.

“They’ve referred this to you twice now; their decision is for you to decide,” Mr. Doonan said. “You now need to do your job and vote.”

Selectmen vice chairman Douglas H. Jones agreed, saying the advisory board clearly does not want to make a recommendation, so they should do it for them.

But he also said he wanted to see the minutes from the meeting when the traffic advisory committee decided not to recommend the sign. Mr. Doonan said the committee approved the sign 4 to 1 when he met with members in November. He said the vote was based primarily to create more consistency, since all the other intersections along Worcester Avenue and Worcester Court have stop signs at the cross street intersections. Mr. Jones said they must have met subsequently to have changed their minds.

“I don’t understand why they would say in their report to us that the intersection is not busy enough for a sign, when all of the other intersections on that street have one,” Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Doonan said he witnessed three accidents in June alone at the intersection and said the area is heavily used by walkers, beachgoers, and children with bicycles and scooters. Worcester Avenue begins at Grand Avenue along Falmouth Heights and turns into Worcester Court two blocks later.

Selectman Samuel H. Patterson suggested the board take a vote based on how busy the area is with children playing baseball and visitors walking to and from rental homes and hotels.

“I think we need to wait for more information and input from the TAC. We should not be in the business of making decisions on stop signs. It’s beyond our capacity to understand traffic issues,” Ms. Flynn said.

As Mr. Doonan left the lectern with assurances that selectmen would vote on it at the next meeting, Mr. Patterson thanked him for his persistence. 

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