@JimMorrisonTAB also reported these points from Ward 8 Alderman Cheryl Lappin:
…[Lappin] who voted against the reconfiguration in June 2012 but implored her fellow aldermen to join her in voting to revert back to the old design, pointed out the there are five Newton schools totaling
5564approximately 5000 students –or 40% of NPS students- traveling through this over-congested intersection on their way to and from school, many by car or bus
Where do these figures come from? Elementary district lines run right through the Newton Centre intersection. Some number of Oak Hill and Brown students must traverse the intersection, and an even smaller number of South students, generally from the Mason-Rice district. That’s a long way from 5,564. If only more of those children were on buses, perhaps there would be less traffic. What we do know is that many parents who do drive their children to these three schools, after dropping off their children, travel through this intersection as part of their commute. The same is probably true of Bowen and other elementaries in the area. So one might draw a connection between the individual vehicle trips to the school and the traffic, but, of course, not every one of these children must be driven to school everyday.
Also, according to the June 20, 2012 Public Facilities committee meeting report, Ald. Lappin, along with only Ald. Salvucci “voted in opposition as they are not in favor of the installation of raised devices in the City’s roadways.” The raised device at Beacon & Centre makes it possible for pedestrians to cross without signalizing traffic. (Has anyone even noticed this device? It went in last week.) The report made no mention of objections to the Centre/Cypress reconfiguration or fears of traffic backups which caused the public outcry.