Falmouth Selectmen Deny Stop Sign Request

After much discussion that carried over from their last meeting, Falmouth Board of Selectmen voted August 11 against a new stop sign at the intersection of Nantucket and Worcester avenues.

Board members delayed the vote until they received a recommendation from the Falmouth Traffic Advisory Committee, which received the stop sign request back in November. Committee vice chairman James E. Porter, an officer in the Falmouth Police Department, said his committee did not approve Worcester Avenue resident Timothy J. Doonan’s request, saying it did not meet the committee’s criteria and stating the sign would not decrease the number of accidents. The uniform traffic control device manual states a multi-way stop is used where the volume of traffic on intersection roads are equal and should be based on an engineering study. He also said there have been four accidents since 2012 at the intersection, which does not meet their five-accident criteria.

Resident Thomas W. Moakley spoke against the decision.

“I don’t agree with the logic that we should wait for something bad to happen,” he said, and offered to pay for the stop sign.


Selectman Samuel H. Patterson said although he was still concerned about the number of pedestrians and cyclists walking near the intersection, he was satisfied there was a set of regulations the advisory committee used to form a recommendation.

Selectmen chairman Mary (Pat) Flynn thanked the committee for meeting at short notice and asked them to track traffic and pedestrian patterns in the area near Worcester Court to see if sidewalks should be added in the future.

Mr. Doonan first asked the advisory committee for a stop sign nine months ago. “I would have appreciated this recommendation eight months ago,” he said. “It would have saved me a lot of time.” He had gone back to the advisory committee when he did not hear a response, and attended two selectmen meetings, seeking an answer to his request.

Advisory committee chairman Barbara S. Pratt said they unanimously denied the request months ago, but was not sure why “it wasn’t followed up.” She clarified a resident can appeal the committee’s denial to the board of selectmen.


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