By Carol Britton Meyer
The proposed $15.3 million improvement project for the Route 3A, Hingham Rotary, and Summer Street corridor includes a permanent "road diet" and shared-use waterfront paths.
The proposal -- which has been in the development stage for more than a decade -- includes a safer modern roundabout replacing the current rotary, new sidewalks, updated traffic signals, and a 10-foot shared-use path with a buffer along the waterfront -- all part of the effort to make the harbor front safer and more user-friendly for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
The permanent "road diet" on Summer Street between Martins Lane and the Rotary involves the elimination of one lane in each direction along that stretch.
A 2018 pilot "road diet" -- deemed a success by town officials -- was a cooperative effort among Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset town officials due to speeding issues and the high number of accidents that posed serious safety concerns in that area.
Most of the costs will be paid with state and federal dollars, with Hingham covering the design costs. This year's Hingham Town Meeting will be asked to appropriate $200,000 to pay for the remaining design engineering work through construction, in addition to earlier-approved funding for this purpose, totaling $819,000 for Hingham's share.
The Town of Hingham would need to commit to the full design and related funding in order for the project to move forward.