The Danvers Rail Trail Safety & Access
The RTAC conducted an extensive series of site visits to review crossing design, accompanied by staff from DPW and traffic consultants when appropriate. Striped crosswalks have been painted at each crossing, with the exception of Wenham Street, in accordance with the design preferred by DPW and public safety staff. A “cattle gate” was installed at the Wenham St crossing to ensure trail users coming from the north slow down before crossing Wenham St.
Signs showing a pedestrian and bike symbol have been installed consistent with all other pedestrian crossings in Danvers. The removal of rail from the street beds, conducted by Iron Horse at their expense when the trail was initially installed significantly enhanced the pavement surface for both pedestrians and bikers using the crossings as well as improved the maintenance outlook and driver experience in these areas.
The RTAC continues to evaluate the need for bollards at street crossings. With very few reports of cars/trucks on the trail (7 reports to the police between 2011 and 2016) the need for bollards was weighed against the benefit of having rapid emergency access for public safety and electric vehicles up and down the trail, and decided against. In addition, fixed bollards pose a collision hazard for bikers, again posing the case for a “wait and see” attitude to determine whether there is an actual need for bollards.
During its 2016 trail user survey, 90% of trail users felt safe on the trail. There have been no reported incidents of robberies or assaults on the trail.
At the request of Public Safety, mileage markers have been installed at 1/10-mile intervals along the trail. These provide an easy way for users to report issues or call for assistance. Runners and walkers have responded favorably to these as well, for their use as a performance and distance guide.