Date:   December 19, 2013

To:         Nicholas Rystrom, City Engineer, City of Revere

From:   Seth Asante, MPO Staff

Re:        Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013 Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program: Safety Improvements for Pedestrians at Park Avenue and Dale Street Intersection in Revere


The City of Revere requested technical assistance from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to review pedestrian safety improvements proposed for the intersection of Park Avenue, Dale Street, and Kilburn Street. Motorists turning left from Park Avenue onto Dale Street drive at high speeds because of the diagonal alignment of Dale Street, increasing risk to pedestrians in this intersection. The city is proposing construction of a traffic island on Dale Street to reduce the speed of vehicles turning from Park Avenue westbound. This purpose of this memorandum is to review this proposal; it includes an overview of the study location, issues and concerns, existing conditions, and refinements to the city’s proposal.  

Image of Park Avenue, Dale Street, and Kilburn Street intersection


The study intersection is zoned primarily for residential use. Dale Street and Kilburn Street intersect Park Avenue to form a four-legged unsignalized intersection. Dale Street intersects Park Avenue at an oblique angle and Kilburn Street is offset slightly to the east of the intersection. Park Avenue and Dale Street are two-way, two-lane streets; Kilburn Street is a one-way, one-lane street with traffic heading towards the intersection. On-street parking is allowed on the south side of Park Avenue and is free for the general public. There are sidewalks on both sides of the streets, crosswalks with wheelchair ramps, and detectable warning plates. None of the streets has a bicycle lane; bicycles share the streets with motorists.

At the intersection, Park Avenue is the major street and its traffic is not controlled by a device; Dale Street and Kilburn Street are the minor streets and their traffic is controlled by stop signs. The intersection has an overhead flashing beacon (yellow on Park Avenue and red on Dale Street). The speed limit posted on Park Avenue is 30 miles per hour (mph); on Dale Street and Kilburn Avenue, the speed limits are not posted, but we expect them to be either 25 mph or 30 mph.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus route 110 (from Wonderland or Broadway to Wellington Station via Park Avenue), and bus route 111c (from Woodlawn or Broadway via Park Avenue to Haymarket Station) has stops on Park Avenue at the study intersection. MBTA bus route 110 detours via Dale Street on snow days, to avoid a hill on Park Avenue west of Dale Street; therefore improvements must accommodate the snow route.


MPO staff met with the Revere City Engineer, Mr. Nicholas Rystrom, to discuss safety concerns at the Park Avenue/Dale Street/Kilburn Street intersection and assess existing conditions. The meeting took place at the intersection. As stated above, the primary safety concern is that motorists on Park Avenue westbound do not slow down when turning left onto Dale Street, thus increasing the risk for pedestrians crossing Dale Street. The diagonal alignment of Dale Street contributes to the high-speed left turns and the City of Revere had received numerous complaints from residents regarding this safety problem. In addition, the diagonal alignment of Dale Street restricts sight lines and distances upon approach—northbound motorists on Dale Street have to twist their necks in order to get a good view of eastbound traffic on Park Avenue. 

MPO staff assessed existing conditions in order to determine issues that should be taken into consideration when designing pedestrian-safety improvements. The findings of the MPO’s safety audit are presented below: 


Based on discussions with the city engineer, the field visit, and review of the city’s proposal, MPO staff concluded that the proposed traffic island would reduce the speed of vehicles turning left from Park Avenue onto Dale Street and channel traffic into and out of Dale Street. The traffic island would allow left-turning Park Street vehicles to approach Dale Street more perpendicularly and at a slower speed. It also would allow motorists northbound on Dale Street to approach Park Avenue more perpendicularly and improve their sight distance.

In addition, MPO staff proposes the following refinements (shown in Figure 1) to increase safety:

Proposed improvement submitted by City of Revere for review by MPO staff

MPO staff believes that with the recommended refinements, pedestrian safety at the intersection, especially for those crossing Dale Street, would improve significantly. In addition, the traffic island would reduce speeds of vehicles turning onto Dale Street. The proposed additional signage would enhance safety by alerting motorists of the presence of pedestrians as well as directing them safely through the intersection.

This is a figure of the study intersection with proposed improvements.  It is an aerial view that shows the intersecting streets: Park Avenue, Dale Street, and Kilburn Street, as well as the proposed improvements including a traffic island on the approach of Dale Street, signage, and pavement markings.