WELLFLEET — Two alternatives for the redesign of the dangerous intersection of Route 6 and Main Street will be considered at a public hearing at 7 tonight, Thursday, June 14, at the Council on Aging. Officials of the state Dept. of Transportation will listen to public comments on replacing the current traffic lights and left-turn lane either with a traffic circle or with an improved “signalized intersection.”
The Cape Cod Commission estimates that an average of more than 18,000 vehicles travel through the intersection daily, with an increase to almost 24,000 per day in the summer. The Federal Highway Administration recommends replacing dangerous intersections with roundabouts.
A 2016 Cape Cod Commission safety audit catalogued 21 crashes at the intersection from 2011 to 2013, with five of the accidents resulting in injuries. Several of those crashes occurred when drivers tried to make left turns into or out of the Doc Callis building, which houses the Outer Cape Health Pharmacy.
The audit team noted that Route 6 drivers often take advantage of the additional lanes in the intersection to pass slower drivers, sometimes “racing” with the vehicle in the adjacent lane.
The team listed a variety of “potential safety enhancements,” rating their effectiveness and cost. Three changes were listed as having a “high safety payoff”: installing crosswalks with a pedestrian phase; bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along Route 6; and removing post-mounted signal housings. All were high-cost improvements. —EM