Environmental Partners was retained by the Town of Marshfield in 2015 to provide professional engineering services associated with improvements in Brant Rock, along Ocean Street from Dyke Road to Island Street. While Brant Rock is a charming coastal community, the prominent feature within the center is expansive pavement resulting in fast travel speeds amid vehicles backing out of on-street diagonal parking spaces, pedestrians crossing excessively long crosswalks, and bicyclists exiting a shared use path.
Finding balance for this community includes implementing accommodations that improve traffic circulation, reduces travel speeds, arranges for adequate parking accommodations, provides safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and incorporates streetscape enhancements.
The Conceptual Development Phase included traffic data collection, evaluations of traffic circulation and safety, and the preparation of alternatives as well as their associated estimated construction costs for Town consideration. As a result of overwhelming public support Environmental Partners received during public outreach, the project is advanced into the Design Phase which includes preparing engineered design. The design includes reorganized parking configuration with formalized sidewalks, a reconfigured landscaped median island, and bicycle markings, as well as several curb extensions along the Ocean Street Corridor to calm traffic, shorten pedestrian crossings, and allow for adequate sight lines between pedestrian and motorist where diagonal parking exists.
The intersections on either end of Brant Rock are reconfigured including a roundabout at the intersection of Ocean Street and Island Street to replace the expansive pavement that formerly existed, with organized traffic flow to address poor driver behavior and substantially shorter pedestrian crossings. Because this will be the first roundabout in the Town, public outreach involved sessions educating the public on the many benefits of roundabouts as traffic calming measures and to efficiently process traffic. Geometric changes were also proposed at the intersection of Dyke Road and Ocean Street to better organize traffic circulation with a safer alignment. Gateway treatments are proposed on either end of Brant Rock to flank the center.
The Brant Rock project will provide substantial benefits to those who live, visit, and travel through Brant Rock. Slower travel speeds will benefit the safety of motorists backing out of on-street parking, pedestrians attempting to cross between restaurants and the beach, and bicycles accessing the adjacent shared use path. Shorter pedestrian crossings with landscaped bumpouts including coastal-inspired plantings and features will dramatically alter the once vehicle-dominated location to one that is more balanced, resulting in an attractive thriving destination.