Barnstable Village is a very quaint setting with a downtown containing shops and picturesque residential properties along scenic Route 6A. Although the roadway contains many bends and turns, the corridor experiences high travel speeds by those using it as a cut-through route.
Environmental Partners (EP) was retained by the Town of Barnstable in the Summer of 2016 to design safety and operational improvements, and streetscape enhancements along Route 6A (Main Street) and Millway. The goal of the project is to provide the Town with Complete Streets – safe, comfortable, and accessible accommodations for all users regardless of age, ability, and mode of transportation. Project limits extend along Main Street from Rendezvous Lane to Millway and along Millway from Main Street to the Harbor, a total distance of approximately 1 mile.
Requiring special and specific considerations to achieve the right balance of Complete Streets elements while addressing safety concerns and geometric deficiencies, the project must also remain context-sensitive with respectful of the historic and pleasant nature of Barnstable Village. In an effort to ensure safety while preserving the village setting, EP proposed implementing traffic calming measures and reducing vehicular travel speeds rather than designing to current speeds that would have required substantial disruption to the Route 6A character. Traffic calming strategies such as the implementation of islands, curb extensions, raised crosswalks, textured pavement treatments, and gateway treatments, along with streetscape and landscape enhancements support necessary improvements to pedestrian accommodations. The new design makes Barnstable Village and Barnstable Harbor more accessible, inviting, and safe, encouraging both pedestrians and bicyclists to explore and enjoy.
Reconstruction of the signalized intersection of Main Street at Hyannis-Barnstable Road and Millway, which serves as a major access-way to Barnstable Village, will feature Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) to accommodate the increased seasonal pedestrian foot-traffic between Barnstable Village Center and the Harbor. The proposed ornamental street lighting was selected to emulate existing structures in the area and respect the historic aesthetic of Barnstable Village. Special attention and considerations were given to sustainable efforts including alternative green infrastructure measures whenever possible to assist drainage runoff and help protect Barnstable Harbor.
Spanning a historically significant area, the project had to be handled with caution, dedication, and a desire and commitment to work with all stakeholders through all phases. EP supported public outreach initiatives and communications allowing the project and its design to successfully overcome and alleviate public concerns and political challenges over the uncertainties that often arise with discussion of changes to historic landmarks like Barnstable Village. Construction is currently advancing and is expected to be complete in 2020.