City to Add Traffic/Pedestrian Light at Burroughs

Work begins on the new Burroughs Street light, Oct. 10, 2014.

Chris Helms

Work begins on the new Burroughs Street light, Oct. 10, 2014.

The city is making progress on adding a traffic signal at Burroughs and Centre streets. The construction is expected to be completed this fall or winter, according to the Boston Transportation Department.

The intersection, at the heart of JP’s Centre/South district, will have buttons for pedestrians to activate the lights. The signals will be on poles rising out of the sidewalk and will not hang over the middle of the street, according to Transportation Department plans.

The impetus for the new lights came from a neighborhood request, according to Tracey Ganiatsos, spokesperson for the city department. Transportation officials did a study in August 2012 that showed pedestrian and vehicle traffic warranted the new signal, Ganiatsos wrote in an email.

As part of the project, a new set of lights will also be installed down the block at Thomas and Centre, by the Dunkin’ Donuts.

Look for the city to dig a trench between the two intersections. That will allow the Transportation Department to coordinate signal timing between the two, Ganiatsos wrote.

“The two signals will have a master controller with timing programmed to accommodate morning, midday and evening traffic needs,” she wrote. “The traffic signals will be on flash from 3 a.m. to to 6 a.m.”

Exactly how that timing will work is a point of concern for the Jamaica Pond Association. Jack Fay, chairperson of the neighborhood group, said a city engineer said cars turning onto Centre from Burroughs will have a green light for their turns even when a pedestrian has activated the signal to cross Centre Street. The engineer said the timing could be changed if that proves to be a problem.

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Detail of Boston Transportation Department plans for a signal at Burroughs and Centre streets.

Boston Transportation Department

Detail of Boston Transportation Department plans for a signal at Burroughs and Centre streets.

Another concern is how the signal near Citizens Bank will obscure the historic clock on the sidewalk.

The light also isn’t being integrated into the city’s overall design review of the Centre Street corridor, which is still in process after years of delay.

To view the gritty details of the Burroughs Street light, click through to this PDF from the Boston Transportation Department.