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    Randolph Petitions > Chickatawbut Petition

    Chickatawbut Petition to Milton Town Meeting

      UPDATE May 2024:

    • The "Chickatawbut speed trap" petition will be heard at the Milton Town Meeting at 7:30 PM on Monday, May 6, at Milton Town Hall.

    • The "speed trap" is a 25-mph speed zone at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Rt. 28 (Randolph Road in Milton) just north of the entrance to the highway. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation proposed a roundabout as the safest option to calm traffic at one of the Commonwealth's most dangerous intersections. The Milton Town Meeting instead proposed a 25 mph police enforcement zone amid 40 mph zones in either direction

    • Kathleen and Jesse testified several times to the Milton Select Board and were granted the right to address the Milton Town Meeting. "MassDOT's proposed roundabout is a good solution to a serious problem," says Kathleen. "Rt 28 is a state road, and the right method is to adopt MassDOT's solution that works for all Randolph and Dorchester users, not just Milton abutters."

    • Jesse spoke to MassDOT project manager Josh Bartus to do the "homework" assigned by the Milton Town Meeting Warrant Committee. Conclusions:

    • The speed limit at the roundabout will be 25mph, regardless of S.2301 or 45mph signs nearby. That's the standard speed for a roundabout. A legislated 25mph won't affect roundabout or re-design of roadway.

    • Schedule: Maybe end of this year; maybe in FY25 because we're working thru design process. There is no additional public input scheduled; but there could be.

    • Q: Did anyone except Kathleen and Jesse speak out publicly in support of the roundabout?
      A: Yes, several since 2019; including 2 or 3 or 4 people at each Select Board and othe meeting. Often support is "off to the side" -- people want their voices heard when they are more critical. You're definitely not the only one speaking out publicly in favor -- they're just less vocal.

    • Q: What about the speed trap aspects of a sudden drop from 45mph to 25mph?
      A: Could have signs further away saying "25 mph coming". If you were putting 25mph signs as a big drop from 50mph and 45mph, you'd want not such a short distance.

    • Q: What happens if S.2301 passes? Does the project stop? How does that process work?
      A: "No. I know of no inherent link that would prevent or hinder our project. [On the process], some supervisors would tell me, I suppose; I'd find out from Office of the Chief Engineer. Maybe our Office of Legislative Affairs, but that's usually in the other direction." (usually MassDOT is answering legislators' questions, not taking orders from legislators like Milton Town Meeting Home Rule Petition proposes.)

    • Q: What about signs on Chickatawbut Road (which is in the Blue Hills State Park)?
      A: "We don't tell DCR what to do on their road -- we just have jurisdiction over the intersection."

    • CONCLUSION: "We always get pushback on roundabouts, but we get positive feedback afterwards."

    PROPOSED WARRANT: To see if the Town will vote to request that Milton's State delegation withdraw S.2301, "An Act establishing speed limits on portions of state highway route 28 and Chickatawbut road in the town of Milton," because it is a "speed trap," and instead return to the original MassDOT rotary plan.

    We object to the "speed trap" in particular because it would exacerbate the Milton Police's disproportionate ticketing of motorists of color above the already-established +30% racial differential, as detailed in the "Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report" (page 212).

      Milton Warrant process:
    • A petition for the proposed warrant is submitted to the Town Clerk for certification and then the Town Administrator puts it into the warrant list for the next Town Meeting, where it gets a discussion and vote.
    • Jesse Gordon and Kathleen Crogan-Camara are the "petitioners"; we can speak about this warrant at the Milton Town Meeting but we can't vote because that's only for Milton Town Meeting members.
    • Jesse and Kathleen presented this same information to the Milton Select Board in late 2023; they decided to take no action so we will bring it instead to the Milton Town Meeting.
    • While gathering signatures, we heard several valid argument that we'll address briefly here; these same issues will likely be discussed again at the May 6 Town Meeting:
      1. Why a rotary/roundabout? MassDOT determined that a rotary/roundabout was the best method to slow traffic at one of the most deadly intersections in Massachusetts. We want to let MassDOT implement their recommendation, with modifications suggested by the people of Milton at MassDOT meetings.

      2. Who pays for an increased police presence? The taxpayers of Milton would have to pay for the police time, which to be effective at slowing traffic, would have to include dozens of hours every week. The state would pay for implementing the MassDOT plan.

      3. Why is the State Legislature involved? Rt. 28 is a state road, and hence state agencies control the speed limit signs, as well as construction of rotaries and roundabouts. The Milton Town Meeting voted to submit a "Home Rule Petition" to request a new speed limit of 25 mph, where the current speed limit is 40 mph (and 50 mph just south in Quincy).

      4. But MassDOT didn't listen to us: We sympathize with the difficulty of being heard by state agencies -- but the Milton Town Meeting could, in the past or now, pass a Home Rule Petition to force MassDOT to accept their recommendations, such as a right-lane turning signal, or an extra lane at the intersection in four directions, etc. We would support any such Home Rule Petitions; we only oppose the increased police presence.

      5. What's wrong with an increased police presence? The motorists ticketed by the Milton police would primarliy be residents of Dorchester and Randolph, the two communities to the north and south of Milton on Rt 28. Most users of that road are safe drivers, but a sudden shift to a 25 mph zone near a 50 mph zone means many drivers would get caught in a "speed trap."

      6. What's wrong with targeting Dorchester and Randolph drivers, if they're speeding on Milton's roads? Ticketing speeders could be done right now -- the Milton Police could ticket drivers exceeding 40 mph, the current speed limit. The Home Rule Petition, S.2301, requests reducing that speed limit to 25 mph. The purpose of the Home Rule Petition is NOT to ticket speeders -- the purpose is to TRAP drivers because of a sudden change in the speed limit -- that's a "speed trap"!

      7. Why do you bring up race? Because that's what the state measures in their reporting about police ticketing practices, the "Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report." And because Dorchester and Randolph are both majority-minority communities. The Milton police are documented in the 2022 report as over-ticketing motorists of color by 30% (and under-ticketing white motorists by 33%). A speed trap at this intersection will CERTAINLY make that statistic worse.
    • Download a blank petition: We handed in our petitions on Jan. 16 (the deadline was Jan.17) but you're welcome to sign and we'll bring it to the May 6 meeting.

    Chickatawbut Intersection

    A resident of Milton came to the Randolph Town Council to ask us to support him blocking the proposed rotary at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Route 28 (Randolph Avenue in Milton). The Milton resident claimed that Randolph had not been notified about the rotary, so I responded that I had been notified, and supported the rotary. His testimony is from 2:11 to 2:18 in the Town Council video from 7/24/23 and my response is at 3:52:40 to 3:55.

    Letter from John Rowe

    Mon, Jul 24, 8:50 PM to randolphtowncouncil@randolph-MA.gov

    Good evening Randolph Town Council,

    Thank you for allowing me to speak this evening at your Town Council meeting. Again, I encourage you to engage with Mass DOT concerning the roundabout proposal. I do believe, as does Senator Timillty, Milton Board of Select Persons, and people who live in my neighborhood, that this will cause more problems than it solves. Please see the article in the Herald at the link below.

    My response to John Rowe

Mr. Rowe -- You left our Town Council meeting before I could reply, so I'll summarize my reply and suggest that you watch it on RCTV --

    Timilty's plan for the Chickatawbut intersection is convenient for local Milton residents but terrible for the people of Randolph and Boston, and for users of the Blue Hills Reservation. On behalf of the people of Randolph and Blue Hills users, I oppose it and I have previously contacted MassDOT, our legislators, and the press to say so.

  • The Chickatawbut intersection at Randolph Ave is one of the deadliest in the Commonwealth, and MassDOT created a good plan to construct a rotary at that intersection to address the frequent traffic accidents there. I support the MassDOT plan which is based on well-established methods and expertise.

  • Timilty's plan is to have the state install "25 mph" signs and increase police presence around the intersection in order to slow traffic at that intersection, instead of a rotary. That means ticketing motorists traveling on Rt 28 -- commonly called a "speed trap". That plan would have negative outcomes without the positive outcomes that you claimed.

  • A speed trap on Rt 28 would target motorists coming from Randolph to Boston or vice-versa. This sort of speed trap has the long-term effect that people would avoid it by finding other routes. Local residents might describe that as "keeping the riff-raff out" -- I am the riff-raff! I use that stretch of road regularly and so do thousands of Randolph residents -- we DO want better safety at the Chickatawbut intersection by constructing a rotary -- but we DON'T want to be targeted by the Milton police!

  • The Milton police have a long history of targeting motorists of color, and this speed trap would increase their targeting greatly. You can look up the history of Milton police targeting motorists of color in the document "2020 Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report" -- compare page 212 for the Milton police to page 253 for the Randolph police, which I excerpt below. Those figures indicate unambiguously that Milton police stop motorists of color much more often than they stop white motorists -- while Randolph police do not have that racial differential.
I am a member of the Friends of the Blue Hills (FBH) -- that group has been working with DCR to improve the Skyline Path crossing of Randolph Ave just south of Chickatawbut Road. I have been working with FBH to suggest to MassDOT a second rotary at Skyline Path:

  • A second rotary would have a stronger "traffic calming" effect at Chickatawbut, because people coming from the south would be traveling more slowly as they approach Chickatawbut.

  • The pair of rotaries would benefit hikers crossing Randolph Avenue because people coming from the north would be traveling more slowly as they approach Skyline Path.

  • Motorists would more readily see hikers crossing Randolph Avenue at a rotary than just at a crosswalk (alternative FBH plans include a traffic light or a blinking stop sign).

  • Hikers crossing a rotary would only have to cross one direction of traffic at a time, instead of the current crossing all-at-once.
You asserted three false statements to the Randolph Town Council:

  1. You said to the Randolph Town Council that Timilty's plan would ease traffic from Randolph during rush hour but that is untrue -- there would not be a police presence during rush hour because nobody exceeds the speed limit at that time -- the police presence would be off-hours, when people are more likely to be speeding and risking another deadly accident at Chickatawbut Road. During rush hour, Tiimilty's plan would have zero effect.

  2. You said to the Randolph Town Council that Timilty's plan would help bus riders on the #240 bus -- that is also untrue. I've been on the #240 bus when there was an accident at Chickatawbut -- causing very long delays! Fewer accidents at Chickatawbut would help riders of the #240 bus, which is what the MassDOT rotary plan does.

  3. You said to the Randolph Town Council that the people of Randolph were not notified of the MassDOT plan and that too is untrue. I was notified, and I responded, in the period from January until April this year. I also asked our local police about the MassDOT plan and Timilty's plan -- they noted that the Randolph police routinely respond to emergencies along Randolph Avenue in Quincy, because the Quincy police and the Milton police do not. I will post my correspondence to our state legislators and MassDOT on my website shortly.

Timilty's plan is terrible for everyone except maybe for local residents who live nearby the intersection. Timilty focuses on just the neighbors' benefit while ignoring the burdens placed on everyone else. That's called "NIMBYism" and I oppose it. I welcome you coming to Randolph to debate this issue, so that the people of Randolph can oppose Timilty's plan too.

Jesse Gordon
Randolph District 2 Town Councilor

2020 Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report

Stops vs. City/Town Demographics
Motorist Race% of police stopsCity Demographic% differential
Milton (p. 212)
AA/Black 45.5% 15.1% +30.4%
White 38.6% 71.7% - 33.1%
Randolph (p. 253)
AA/Black 50.3% 44.7% +5.6%
White 29.5% 29.4% +0.1%

My support letter to MassDOT on rotary

April 2023 letter to "DOT Feedback Highway" -- Download as PDF -- in support of rotary. Generally, I support any constructed fix, and oppose any police-oriented fix. If the neighbors in Milton prefer a highway separation (a "Jersey barrier") near Chickatawbut, or raised roadways, or a traffic light, I would support any of those. I support "traffic calming" as the solution to one of the most dangerous intersections in Massachusetts, because traffic calming works well at dangerous intersections. MassDOT has determined -- by expert analysis -- that a rotary is the best traffic-calming method, and I support their conclusion. But other traffic-calming measures would be ok too. What's NOT ok is to set up a speed trap that targets Randolph residents -- which is what Timilty proposes instead of a rotary!

To: DOT Feedback Highway DOTFeedbackHighway@dot.state.ma.us

Re: Chickatawbut Road Traffic Circle

To: Carrie E. Lavallee, chief engineer,

Re: Major Project Project File 607342."

Please register my support of the MassDOT proposed roundabout at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue (Rt. 28) in Milton, MA. The MA-DOT plan would benefit motorists from Randolph and Boston, and would also provide traffic calming for hikers at Skyline Trail.

I encourage expansion of the project to include the Skyline Trail crossing as well -- with another roundabout or "median island" there -- to fulfill a proposed plan to enhance hiker safety. See attached documents for details.

Jesse Gordon, Randolph District 2 Town Councilor
52 West St., Randolph MA 02368
(617) 320-6989

This fatal car crash occured on Rt 28 near Chickatawbut --
there's a car crash like this every month or so near the Rt.28-Chickatawbut intersection.
This is what "traffic-claming" would avoid.
See article at WCVB News.

My response to April 12 CTPS meeting

My letter of April 20, 2023 to Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), about the Rt 28 crossing (Download as PDF). I propose here to include a second rotary between Chickatawbut Road and the Randolph border, at the Blue Hills Skyline Trail crossing of Rt. 28 in Quincy. Having two rotaries would greatly increase "traffic calming" at both locations -- reducing accidents at Chickatawbut, and also making the hiker crossing much safer. As opponents point out, a rotary (or two) does slow down traffic -- yes, that is the purpose! But think about WHEN traffic gets slowed down -- it's when motorists can drive fast, which means off-rush-hour. At rush hour, traffic-calming hardly makes any difference -- this road is very slow during rush hour. A rotary would slow down traffic when it's fast, and only delay motorists by a few seconds during rush hour.

To: Casey Cooper, Boston Region MPO ccooper@ctps.org
Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS)
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150 Boston, MA 02116
(857) 702-3700
CC: Judy Lehrer Jacobs Friends of the Blue Hills (FBH)
April 20, 2023
Re: Skyline Trail Crossing, response to meeting of April 12, 2023 (Meeting Video)

To Ms. Cooper and the CTPS,

I watched with great interest your meeting of 4/12/23 and I've been following the issue as a member of the Friends of the Blue Hills for over a year now. I would like to offer the comments below on both the Skyline Trail Crossing, and on the wider-scale issues on Randolph Avenue (Rt. 28) in Quincy and Milton.

FBH Board President Matt Panucci mentioned during the meeting that Governor Baker pocket-vetoed legislation regarding crossing Rt. 28 at Chickatawbut Road. Senator Timilty has re-introduced that legislation this year, and I oppose it as an elected official of Randolph, because Timilty's plan hurts the people of Randolph and hurts the Blue Hills. MA-DOT has introduced a positive plan for the Chickatawbut crossing, with a traffic circle, which would slow traffic at the Skyline Trail crossing too. I'm asking CTPS, and FBH, and the other relevant elected officials, to oppose Timilty's plan, and to support the MA-DOT plan. Could CTPS offer their input on the Chickatawbut crossing and its effect on the Skyline Trail crossing? Either as part of the Skyline Trail report, or as a separate letter to the legislature?

I'll get to the details of the competing plans for the Chickatawbut crossing, and how they directly affect the Skyline Trail crossing and the rest of Randolph Avenue, but first let me provide some context of my response to the rest of the 4/12 meeting. These responses reflect my position as a hiker in the Blue Hills, and as a regular motorist on Randolph Avenue.

  • I support traffic calming measures at the Skyline Trail crossing, both for the safety of hikers and to encourage more widespread use of the Blue Hills.
  • I support signage, paint, and bollards as a "low-cost short-term" solution. I also support a "higher-cost longer-term" solution of a constructed median divider, and constructed solar-powered lit signage.
  • I do not support an "overpass walkway" as discussed in the 4/12 meeting, but I do support additional construction at the Skyline Trail parking area, to increase visibility and motorist perception of the Skyline Trail crossing. Any additional construction would benefit hikers by calming traffic -- that construction might include curbs and additional parking pavement, or anything else that CTPS sees fit to recommend.
  • I support applying those same traffic calming measures -- signage, paint, and bollards -- to the other trail crossing on Randolph Avenue. I include the section of the DCR trail map indicating the crossings -- 5 in total, including Chickatawbut Road -- in my letter to legislators.

Now to apply the Skyline Trail concepts to the other four Randolph Avenue crossings. I heard you say in the meeting that you don't want to widen the scope of the project, but that you would consider addressing other Randolph Avenue crossings. I suggest you consider the Chickatawbut crossing as a unified project along with the four other crossings. The rest of my comments concern the Chickatawbut crossing.

MA-DOT has proposed constructing a traffic circle at the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Road, with a median area including a raised curb, where pedestrians could pause. That would fulfill the comment by Steve Olanoff during the 4/12 meeting to allow hikers to cross Randolph Avenue in two sections, with a safe pausing spot halfway across. I support a constructed median at both Chickatawbut Road and the Skyline Trail crossing.

Timilty introduced a bill to override the MA-DOT plan -- S.2384 in 2021 and S.3124 in 2022, and currently reintroduced as S.2301 in 2023. Some abutters near Chickatawbut have a petition circulating against MA-DOT construction in favor of increasing a police presence on Randolph Avenue, which Timilty supports. That is the aspect that I oppose -- an increased police presence would target residents of Randolph and Boston who commute on that road, without benefiting hikers with any full-time traffic calming since the police presence would be periodic at best, and not near Skyline Trail. I am asking my State Representatives and others to oppose Timilty's poorly-thought-out bill, with details in my letter attached.

The MA-DOT plan at Chickatawbut, in contrast, would directly benefit hikers at the Skyline Trail by providing full-time traffic calming at the north end of Randolph Avenue. That would complement well to similar constructed traffic calming structures at Skyline Trail -- and at other parking areas along Randolph Avenue -- because motorists would come to expect them, rather than racing the entire length.

Please consider supporting the MA-DOT plan at the Chickatawbut crossing as part of the Skyline Trail crossing project. Or if not, then a letter of support for MA-DOT's Chickatawbut plan and a letter of opposition to Timilty's bill.

Jesse Gordon, Randolph District 2 Town Councilor
52 West St., Randolph MA 02368
(617) 320-6989

My request that State Reps withdraw from S.2384 (Timilty's 2023 Speed Trap bill)

Tell our State Reps you oppose S.2384, Timilty's 2023 Speed Trap bill! (Download as PDF). These two State Reps represent Milton (Rep. Driscoll also represents Randolph, and Rep. Fluker-Oakley also represents parts of Boston). They co-sponsored Timilty's speed trap bill because the local neighbors in Milton asked them to. We should let them know that the residents of Randolph oppose the speed trap because it targets us, and because it doesn't accomplish the goal of making the Chickatawbut intersection safer. These two state reps are very good legislators who listen to the people -- but they have only heard from the NIMBY crowd who say about a rotary "Not In My Back Yard" -- they need to hear from us saying "Don't target Randolph and Boston with a speed trap!". You could write to Timilty too, but he is not a good listener -- he prefers police-oriented solutions to every problem, even though the Milton police are known to disproprtionately target motorists of color. If our two state reps withdraw their co-sponsorship, it will send a message to the rest of the Legislature that Timilty's speed trap is a terrible idea!

To: State Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley and State Rep. Bill Driscoll

William.Driscoll@mahouse.gov and Brandy.FlukerOakley@mahouse.gov

Dear Rep. Fluker-Oakley and Rep. Driscoll,

I'm writing to ask you to withdraw your sponsorship for Senator Timilty's bill S.2301 [now re-filed as S.2384 in 2023] and to not co-sponsor any follow-up legislation in the 193rd legislative session regarding the intersection of Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue. Timilty's bill, and his entire simplistic approach, is poorly thought-out and benefits only the Milton Police and some local Milton residents. Thousands of other users of that stretch of road would continue facing a safety risk by ignoring the MassDOT's recommendation for a roundabout.

Timilty's bill would overturn the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's plan to construct a "roundabout" -- a traffic circle that would slow traffic on both Chickatawbut Road and Randolph Avenue. The MA-DOT plan would provide "traffic calming" on Randolph Avenue -- which thousands of hikers cross as part of the trails in the Blue Hills Reservation. The MA-DOT plan would complement the current DCR plan to provide "traffic calming" at the Skyline Trail crossing further south on Randolph Avenue. I enclose a memo to the Boston Region MPO, plus a link to their video recording from an April 12 meeting about the Skyline Trail crossing.

Thousands of people from Randolph use this road daily to get to Boston, and thousands of people from Boston pass through Milton to get to Randolph. Additionally, thousands of users of the Blue Hills hike across and along Randolph Avenue. Those are the people whose interests Timilty ignores!

I understand there is a petition against the roundabout -- yes, a roundabout would slow down traffic on Chickatawbut Road a little bit for Milton abutters -- but it would greatly benefit everyone by making the intersection safer, and making Randolph Avenue traffic slower!

I'd like you to consider what would happen to the people of Randolph and Boston if Timilty gets his way, and funds the Milton Police to enforce a 25mph speed limit near this intersection. The Milton Police would ticket speeders going over 25mph -- those are most often commuters from Randolph and Boston, or visitors between those communities. That means that Timilty's plan would impose "speed trap" fees on Randolph and Boston residents, to benefit a few Milton abutters. Looking at the demographics involved, Timilty's plan would impose fees on the majority-minority communities of Dorchester and Randolph, for the benefit of the affluent neighborhoods of Milton.

Note too that the MBTA bus #240 and BAT bus #12 have routes that go right through this same intersection. Those buses never speed, of course, but would have to slow to 25mph -- in other words, Timilty's plan would slow the daily work commute of thousands of bus riders, to benefit a few local Milton drivers.

Regarding Timilty's plan to use the Milton Police for traffic calming, please look at the "Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report", where the Milton Police Department appears on page 212. I cite the figures below, but in summary, the Milton Police disproportionately ticket African American and Black drivers. Just for one example, Milton is about 72% white, but people stopped by the Milton Police are only 39% white -- a worse differential than the state average, and much worse than the neighboring majority-minority communities of Boston and Randolph.

Furthermore, even during the brief times that Timilty's police-oriented plan is in effect, the Milton police don't patrol the stretches of Randolph Avenue that would slow traffic for the benefit of hikers. Timilty's plan would restrict Milton police activity to within the Milton border -- far from the Skyline Trail crossing in Quincy. I conferred with the Randolph police department about this issue, and they report that the Milton police have historically avoided any activity on that stretch of Randolph Avenue - leaving it to the Randolph police to handle emergency response there. The State Police do assist, since it's a state road, but the Randolph police have acted as the first responders, not Milton.

Please withdraw your name from Timilty's one-sided plans. Please consider your constituents in Boston and Randolph. Please apply more inclusive thinking than Timilty's myopic police-centric worldview.

Jesse Gordon, Randolph District 2 Town Councilor
52 West St., Randolph MA 02368
(617) 320-6989

2020 Massachusetts Uniform Citation Data Analysis Report

Stops vs. City/Town Demographics
Motorist Race% of police stopsCity Demographic% differential
Milton (p. 212)
AA/Black 45.5% 15.1% +30.4%
White 38.6% 71.7% - 33.1%
Randolph (p. 253)
AA/Black 50.3% 44.7% +5.6%
White 29.5% 29.4% +0.1%

This is the BLUE petition in our 5-color collection
Contact: Jesse Gordon 617-320-6989 by text; jesse @ jessegordon.com by email; P.O. Box 448, Randolph MA 02368
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