The Gatepost Editorial: Time to revisit State Street Safety

(Photo by Brad Leuchte)

After a single-car accident on State Street earlier this week, which saw a white truck strike and split a telephone pole in half, it’s time for Framingham State University and the town of Framingham to start thinking about the issue of speeding on and around campus.

While we at The Gatepost have always known cars to zip far too quickly through State Street, what several editors witnessed on Tuesday night is a prime example of the negligence far too many motorists exhibit while driving through campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Several neighbors shared their concerns with Gatepost editors while watching the white truck be towed away. One neighbor, who wished to be referred to as Jim, said he had heard “a screeching sound and then a crash.”

Jim and the other neighbors said they believe speeding was a factor in the crash. Just like the residents in 2001, Jim and his fellow neighbors said the best way to solve the issue is to install speed bumps.

He added the town told him and the other neighbors speed bumps were not an option due to “snow plowing.”

The issue of speeding through State Street is not new. In the article “State Street plans spark controversy” by Michelle Wood in the Nov. 16, 2001 issue of The Gatepost, administrators presented plans to close off sections of State Street and Maynard Road due to safety concerns.

In another article, “Administration meets with neighbors to discuss proposal changes to campus” by Jessica Gagnon in the Oct. 19, 2001 issue of The Gatepost, neighbors suggested speed bumps along State Street to help slow traffic. However, the former Director of Facilities Michael Hinkley said speed bumps are impossible because they impede snow removal and emergency vehicles.

While speed bumps would be the ideal solution, we at The Gatepost believe radar speed signs would also help control the speeding problem. These speed signs are used at the beginning of every semester for high traffic – it should be simple enough to keep these signs year round.

Currently, the speed limit on State Street is 25 mph. The legal speed limit for a school zone is 20 mph. While colleges are not considered school zones, we at The Gatepost believe they should be treated as such. Lowering the speed limit to 20 mph may deter drivers from speeding.

Thankfully, this incident occurred on a Tuesday night. As Jim told The Gatepost, had this accident took place on a Thursday night when there is a high concentration of students walking alongside State Street, any one of these students could have been struck and killed.

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