Gazette: “Pothole-plagued North Street to get long-awaited reconstruction in Northampton”

Today’s Gazette reports on tonight’s public meeting on the reconstruction of North Street. The meeting will take place at 7pm in the Hearing Room on the second floor of City Hall. Enter the building through the rear door.

Work on the high-priority project could begin as soon as this summer and last into the summer or fall of 2013, said Laura Hanson, the city’s transportation engineer.

The more than half-mile stretch of North Street will see improvements, from Bates Street to the spot near Walnut Street that it turns into Market Street…

[Hanson] believes the concept residents will likely gravitate towards calls for repaving the road, constructing new sidewalks and improving green space.

This concept also includes narrowing North Street where it intersects with both Lincoln Street and Market Street, and significant crosswalk improvements to make them wider and more visible.

The existing crosswalks would double in width to 16 feet, and two or three “raised” crosswalks are proposed as a way to slow traffic down, similar to those near Jackson Street School…

This plan also calls for the planting of new trees down by Market Street, said Hanson.

Two other concepts will be presented at tonight’s meeting. One calls for repaving the street and upgrading the existing sidewalks, instead of constructing new ones. The plan would also improve curbing, pavement markings and have a better defined parking.

The second concept is similar but includes a bike lane on the north side from Bates to Woodmont Road. Hanson said this option “really squeezes the road” and will impact trees and cause utility pole issues in order to make room for the sidewalk.

See also:

North Street Reconstruction Slated for 2012-2013 (3/19/11)

Photos: North Street Potholes (3/9/11)

Video and Slides: Proposed Improvements for the King/Summer/North Street Intersection (10/19/10)

Video: North Street Reconstruction, June 10, 2010

DPW Document: North Street Paving Information, June 10, 2010