Hudson considers fix for downtown crosswalk blind spot

Photo by/Laura Hayes
A crosswalk in the heart of Downtown Hudson has a notable blind spot for pedestrians and drivers. The town is proposing to install a bump-out.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

HUDSON – A blind spot for pedestrians trying to cross part of Main Street in Hudson may soon be fixed. 

The town has proposed installing a “bump-out” of the crosswalk, which connects the Main Street Bagel Factory to Murphy’s Insurance Agency in the heart of the downtown area. 

The Select Board voiced their support for this plan during their April 5 meeting. 

“This is something I’ve noticed for quite some time now,” said Select Board Member James Quinn.

Quinn noted that driving eastbound on Main Street, drivers can see pedestrians trying to cross the street. 

Driving westbound, however, pedestrians are blocked by a parking spot that is frequently occupied. That leaves pedestrians waiting for breaks in traffic that, especially at peak hours, can be few and far between.

Quinn said he’s seen the latter situation happen “countless times,” including to Acting Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson. 

“I actually saw you stuck there one day a year ago, or whatever it was,” he said. “I let you go because no one else was letting you go. They just kept going by.” 

As the Select Board spoke, a group of downtown business owners and employees had already raised the issue during a February Internal Traffic Committee. 

The town brainstormed solutions during and after that meeting, including eliminating the parking spot and installing a bump-out. 

Flashing lights, though, likely aren’t on the table as Quinn, who is a member of the Historic District Commission, said he was “heartily against” that option. 

“I think the bump-out might do the job for us without losing that parking space,” Quinn said. 

There are already similar bump-outs elsewhere in Hudson, according to Director of Public Works Eric Ryder. 

If built, Ryder said this bump-out would be consistent with design standards in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and would drain water on both its sides.