Are "intersection improvements" worth $552,000?

Orleans voters are being asked to fund over half a million dollars worth of esthetic improvements to four intersections in downtown Orleans

Voters scrutinize Orleans' "intersection improvements"

Who should pay the bill for “enhanced pedestrian experience?”

Article 3 of Orleans’ October 27th special town meeting looks innocuous enough, entitled “Funding for Main Street Intersection Improvements”.

However a little scrutiny reveals that voters are being asked to fund $552,000 worth of esthetic improvements to four intersections in downtown Orleans.

As listed in the special town meeting warrant Article 3, proposed expenses are as follows:

The Orleans Village Center Streetscape Plan includes specific proposals to create gateways and enhance the pedestrian experience through the use of specific materials and patterns and other aesthetic improvements, including landscaping, street furniture, and ornamental lighting. The Streetscape Plan scope of work recommends coordinating these enhancements with any proposed roadway improvements within the project by MassDOT.

Estimated “non-participating costs”
6A & Main Intersection
LED Acorn-style Village Streetlights (4 @ $15,000 installed) $60,000
Imprinted Crosswalks $63,500
Compass Rose 35,000
Subtotal $158,500

6A & Cove Road Intersection
LED Acorn-style Village Streetlights (4 @ $ 15,000) $60,000
Subtotal $60,000

28 & Main Intersection
LED Acorn-style Village Streetlights (4 @ $15,000) $60,000
Imprinted Crosswalks $63,500
Compass Rose $35,000
Subtotal $158,500

Old Colony & Main Intersection
LED Acorn-style Village Streetlights (4 @ $15,000) $60,000
Subtotal $60,000

Pigmented concrete throughout $85,000
Subtotal $85,000

Sidewalk Brick Edging $30,000
Subtotal $30,000

Designed to “enhance the pedestrian experience”, the cosmetic enhancements include a total of 16 “LED Acorn-style Village Streetlights” at $15,000 each installed. They also include a compass rose at both Route 6A and Main Street and Route 28 and Main Street ($70,000 total). Imprinted crosswalks at the two intersections will set the taxpayers back $127,000. Pigmented concrete “throughout” and sidewalk brick edging will cost a total of $115,000.

Some Orleans residents have expressed concern about taxpayers being asked to bear the cost of cosmetic upgrades to intersections in the business district, preferring to see the downtown business community foot the bill for the “enhanced pedestrian experience.”

Supporters feel that the enhancements will give Orleans’ Main Street business district a more unified look and feel.

Orleans has essentially four de-facto business districts. Skaket Corners (Route 6A & West Road), the Staples/Willy’s shopping center, the businesses around Main Street and the “eastern” shopping area anchored by Stop & Shop, Christmas Tree Shops and Wendy’s.


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