Metro, Newton

Newton Police Install Traffic Signage at Busy Intersection

The City of Newton placed additional traffic signage at the intersection of Watertown Street, Eddy Street, and Eliot Avenue, where a number of traffic incidents have occurred for years.

The city added stop signs in different directions near the intersection, which already included other implements to try to calm traffic and reduce car accidents.

The city installed stop signs on Watertown Street (Eastbound) at Eddy Street in front of 802 Watertown Street, and on Watertown Street (Westbound) at Eliot Avenue in front of 789 Watertown Street, according to a release from the Newton Police Department (NPD).

The city previously installed a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) traffic light to help pedestrians cross Watertown Street more safely, according to Newton Director of Transportation Operations Jason Sobel at the time of last year’s accidents. 

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller recently touted the RRFBs in her newsletter and said the devices ensure a safer environment for pedestrians to cross streets.

“The RRFBs are placed on both sides of a crosswalk and include pedestrian crossing signs,” Fuller’s newsletter reads. “They are designed to improve safety by increasing drivers’ awareness of pedestrians crossing streets at locations other than intersections.”

She said the technology has proven to improve safety conditions.

Federal research indicates RRFBs can result in motorist yielding rates as high as 98 percent at marked crosswalks,” Fuller’s newsletter reads. “Additionally, studies have shown that RRFBs can also significantly reduce the number of pedestrian crashes.”

Last year, residents called for a variety of potential ways to make crashes less likely at the intersection. Proposed ideas included new traffic lights, four-way stop signs like the ones installed, and lowering the speed limit.

Eddy Street ranked No. 30 in the city’s 2019 traffic calming prioritization evaluation, while Eliot Avenue ranked No. 79, Andreae Downs, who chairs the Newton Public Safety and Transportation Committee, said. 

The city and the NPD will monitor the intersection to see any effects of the new signage, according to a release from their Facebook page.

October 22, 2023