Warrant Article #32 - Amherst Street Sidepath

Utilizing Systematic Safety Principles to Provide Multimodal Transportation Between the Amherst Village and the town of Milford

The intent of this project is to provide residents of the Town of Amherst with a safe and convenient connection for multimodal users between the Amherst Village and the town of Milford as well as a physical and operational example of the implementation of systematic safety principles for multimodal transportation along a connecting street.

This project could provide a showcase for the town which can demonstrate how the modification of the design of our roadways can lead to demonstrably safer transportation for all roadway users, whether by motor vehicle or otherwise.

This project proposal is different than common traffic safety suggestions as it seeks to shift the priority of road construction to consider engineering the safety of all road users into the design of the road itself.

Safety-based designs for multimodal users on roadways have been established and slowly implemented for decades in urban contexts, but there remain few rural solutions. The suggestions of this proposal are the direct result of Amherst’s Multimodal Master Plan and is informed by designs from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2016 Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks guide to suggest effective methods for providing safe and comfortable transportation options for all roadway users.

What specific design considerations would this project offer?

  • The utilization of systematic safety principles as a determination for where to separate people from motor vehicles
  • The installation of 10,090 feet of multimodal transportation facilities to connect the Amherst village to the town of Milford, including 5,775 feet of separated sidepath.
  • The utilization of a sidepath as a separated, bidirectional, multimodal facility – a design that is especially appropriate for rural applications and is also cost-effective
  • The consideration of safer intersection designs which reduce exposure to conflicts, reduce speeds, and allow for safe and convenient passage of multimodal users
  • Defining multimodal space with terra cotta-colored hot-mix asphalt colorant, which lasts for the life of the pavement
  • Providing an objectively safer space for multimodal users, allowing for more comfortable use of environmentally-friendly transportation modes (not just for recreation)
  • A multimodal transportation system that does not rely on high levels of confidence, experience, or physical ability, allowing for comfortable use by people of all ages