Dark and Dangerous: Rustcraft Road Fix Wanted

Selectmen want changes to the Dedham Corp. Center station.

It's a recipe ripe for tragedy: dusk, a sharp corner, cars parked in the road and pedestrians.

The Board of Selectmen has renewed a call for change at the Dedham Corporate Center MBTA station that would make it safer for commuters to be dropped-off and picked-up on the side of Rustcraft Road.

It's a problem mainly in the evening as the 5:40 and 6:14 p.m. trains let off riders and loved ones, idling on the side of the road, wait to bring them home.

"Rustcraft Road continuously comes up, and now it is to the point that it is bursting," said selectman Carmen Dello Iacono. "Five o'clock in the afternoon, you can barely get by Rustcraft Road."

On a recent evening, the 5:40 p.m. train arrived and five cars, half on the side of the road and half in the travel lane, were waiting for passengers. None of the cars had either parking lights on or emergency flashers activated.

A quick traffic study of driver patterns during the rush hour times could give the town more direction on how to proceed, Dello Iacono said.

Selectmen are looking to the MBTA to work with them in construction a drop-off zone that would allow cars safely idle, out of the street, and allow pedestrians to safely get to their awaiting rides.

"We're suffering for this. The safety of our residents is suffering from this," Dello Iacono said, "and it is the MBTA's problem."

Dello Iacono added he wants to hear the MBTA's plan for the site at an upcoming meeting.

"It has to be done," Dello Iacono said. "Somebody will get hit and tossed across the tracks."

Dello Iacono and selectmen Sarah MacDonald have called for sidewalks to be installed along Rustcraft Road to make it safe for people walking toward the American Red Cross and walking up toward Providence Highway.

Plans for feasible installation of sidewalks is getting attention from the , Town Administrator William Keegan said.

However, with wetlands bordering Rustcraft Road, a developer has to go through extra steps to meet state requirements and go in front of the Conservation Commission.

"Putting a sidewalk out in the town is different that putting one right next to a wetland," commission chairman Fred Civian said.

The developer - the town - would have to show that it is aiming to protect the environment when adding pavement near a wetland. Steps could include building a swale and trench to help control stormwater runoff, Civian said.

"[The commission is] bound by our responsibilities to implement the wetlands act," Civian said in a phone interview.

The Conservation Commission would have to see a low-impact, environmentally sensitive sidewalk design before approving the project.

"Any developer that builds in a wetland has to show what they are doing to protect the wetlands," Civian said.


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