BRATTLEBORO -- The Planning Department will lead another walking audit this week as the town continues to work to improve pedestrian safety around Brattleboro.
On Thursday, July 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Brattleboro planner Sue Fillion will lead the walk around the neighborhood near Living Memorial Park.
Fillion will meet interested residents in the skating rink parking lot at 5:30 p.m. and walk through the park and around the neighborhood to gather ideas on how the town can improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.
"The ability for people of all abilities and in various modes to move safely throughout the community is heavily influenced by land use and transportation planning, design and policies," Fillion said. "As planners, we believe that we can play an important role by working with the public to document the conditions."
This is the third walking audit the planning department has scheduled as the Selectboard continues to come up with ideas to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety after the town had three traffic related fatalities within the span of eight months.
The Selectboard tonight is expected to talk about adding stop signs to the area on Guilford Street in front of living Memorial Park.
The Brattleboro Traffic Safety Committee is asking the Selectboard to approve an emergency ordinance that would remove the two stop signs on the Citizens Bridge and add two stop signs at the park entrance.
"For quite some time the residents of Guilford Street have been concerned about safety for pedestrians and bicyclists because of the speed at which people drive in the area," he said. "The presence of the ball fields and the park mean that children are walking and biking. Various steps have been discussed and implemented over the years but people continue to drive quickly through there."
The emergency ordinance would allow the town to take down the existing stop signs and put up the new ones near the park.
The board would then debate a long term solution after 30 days.
Last summer, before the pedestrian deaths, the town did a walking audit of Canal Street, near the hospital.
Then, in the spring an additional audit was held along Western Avenue.
Fillion said the audits allow planners to see the roads from a pedestrian's perspective and hear from the people who use the roads every day.
During the audits members of the planning department take notes and photographs.
The department does not currently have plans to put together a report, but Fillion said the audits were important as various town department continue to work on traffic safety.
"This is part of the town's effort to look at what the pedestrian experience is like around Brattleboro," Fillion said. "This is an area of town that we need to take a look at."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 279.