Road renovation plans could remove Mattapoisett trees, parking

Apr 27, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — Plans to improve Main Street, Water Street, Beacon Street and Marion Road which would see the removal of eight trees and a net reduction of on-street parking prompted concern from Selectmen on Tuesday.

Jamie Pisano of The Vanasse Hangen Brustlin consulting firm updated the Board of Selectmen on the in-progress plan, estimated to cost $7.6 million, to renovate streets in town at an April 29 meeting.

The project is part of the State Transportation Improvement Plan, a list of transportation projects eligible for state funding between 2021 and 2025.

At the meeting, Pisano showed the board an early version plan to renovate the roads, which included reducing the width of the roadway in some areas and foregoing some parking spaces for sidewalks and green space.

On Main Street, there would be sidewalks on both sides of the road from Route 6 to Church Street, where there would be no sidewalk on the south side of the road.

On Water Street, there would be sidewalks on both sides of the road, leading up to Town Beach, where the sidewalk would shift only to the south side of the road.

On Beacon Street, there would only be sidewalk on the south side of the road.

Additionally, some currently existing on-street parking, such as the space in front of the Inn on Shipyard Park, would be outlined. Pisano said he’s unsure whether outlining the 12 individual spaces would decrease available parking, but doing so was in conformity with state regulation.

Near Town Hall on Main Street and on Water Street near St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, plans show the roadway thinning in order to preserve green space, which would eliminate some on-street parking.

“I can’t see us reducing parking on Water Street,” Selectman Jordan Collyer said, adding “In Town Hall, in the general vicinity, there’s a reduction of like five or six spots.”

Pisano was unable to give an exact amount of parking that would be lost in the plan, as the current on-street spaces aren’t outlined.

Selectman Paul Silva suggested the town find out where cars can be legally parked in Town Center, and identify from there which spaces should be prioritized.

“And then analyze it from there,” he said.

Collyer noted that he would prioritize parking on the northside of Water Street over green space.

“If it’s sacrificing green space … I’d rather keep the roadway wider [for] longer and accommodate the parking spaces on the northside for as long as we can.”
Also included in the plans is the removal of eight trees — four which were deemed unsound by an arborist, and four which would be removed in order to facilitate construction.

Trees in front of 43, 24 and 10 Main Street, at the corner of Main and Pearl Streets, 18 Water Street, and a tree in front of St. Philip’s would be removed.

Collyer opined that trees which were deemed unsound could be removed, but ones which are healthy should be kept.

Additionally, the plan would see a blind merger of Marion Road and Route 6 turn into a 90-degree intersection.

It was also suggested by safety planners that the intersection of Marion Road, Church Street Extension and Pine Island Road be turned into a four-way stop.

But Pisano said that with the 90-degree intersection at Route 6 and Marion Road, that four-way stop was “hard to justify.”

Pisano said the project has an estimated cost of $7.6 million, much of which would be covered by funding from the Transportation Improvement Plan.

The plan is currently slated by the state to begin in 2025, with design public hearings tentatively scheduled for the fall or winter of this year.

However, the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District has suggested that the project be delayed until 2026.

“We would need to reach out to SRPEDD with comments to the towns [and] others,” Pisano said, on why the project should begin in 2025.