Area of Cumberland Town Hall a tough spot for pedestrians

Area of Cumberland Town Hall a tough spot for pedestrians

The area near Cumberland Town Hall has seen a high volume of crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists in recent years. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

CUMBERLAND – Since January of 2000, there have been nine total crashes in the immediate area of Town Hall involving pedestrians or bicyclists, seemingly the most concentrated area for such crashes on Cumberland’s portion of the busy Broad Street corridor.

There were 19 total crashes involving pedestrians along Broad Street and Mill Street, which runs alongside Town Hall, during that period.

Most of the pedestrian/bicycle crashes near Town Hall at 45 Broad St. have involved either no injuries or minor injuries, one leaving a pedestrian with a broken rib, according to Deputy Chief of Police Douglas Ciullo.

Going back decades earlier, longtime residents recall more serious crashes involving pedestrians here.

Of the 1,773 total crashes along all of Broad Street and Mill Street in Cumberland from January of 2000 through the end of March of this year, 1,383 have involved passenger cars, or 78 percent total, 12 have involved motorcycles, and seven have involved bicyclists, according to data provided by the Police Department. The 19 pedestrian incidents on the length of the roadway since 2000 add up to more than 1 percent of the total.

Mayor Jeff Mutter said he reviewed the video from a late February incident on Mill Street next to Town Hall where a driver taking a left off of Broad Street collided with a pedestrian and “threw him a distance.” That victim ended up being OK, he said, but it again illustrated that this is indeed a tough spot for pedestrians. It was obvious driver error, Mutter added, with clear sightlines.

The area is more problematic because more people are crossing the street here than in other busy spots with the municipal parking lot across the street, said Mutter, who walks across the street often.

“That is one where you have to make sure you’re paying attention,” he said.

The traffic pattern between Broad Street and Mill Street, combined with added traffic due to the newer charter schools nearby and the fact that many people seem to be in a hurry to get around the driver in front of them, makes it a particularly difficult situation for pedestrians at certain times of the day.

According to the data collected by police, another eight incidents on the length of Broad Street since 2000 have involved school buses, and another six have involved other types of buses.

Mutter said there’s a lot of signage at Town Hall, but people still don’t stop for pedestrians. He said there’s been some talk with the state about making some configuration changes here, including raising the roadway a bit, but nothing concrete as of yet.

Comments

wouldn't it have been wonderful if the idea of a town center years ago would have come to fruition, in the area of Chapel Four Corners. Imagine a state of the art bright new town hall with easy access and the latest technology! But no, Cumberland voters said they weren't willing to give up a very small portion of Monastery Land abutting Honey Dew to make this dream town center happen. How anyone can think the current building is something to be proud of is beside me (except for historical preservationists) No one in this town wants to move forward with fresh new visions. Too bad.

Cummin - the monastery grounds are protected. There was no public vote on whether to move the town hall there because it was not an option. Also some towns would love to have such an historic building got town hall.

I always thought people avoided town hall because they didn’t want to pay their taxes. Now I know the real reason and that is afraid they will get run over.

Maybe the town should spend some of the COVID money to put up traffic warning signs like Attleboro has done?

There are three schools on Broad Street and we do nothing to slow traffic down. The town makes children walk in the street during the winter because they cannot come up with a plan to shovel sidewalks.

Maybe we can move the police car from watching the stop sign on Hines Road to Broad Street? I’m sure one town councilor will not mind.