FRAMINGHAM – The Chair of the Framingham Traffic Commission resigned this week.
“I’m really sorry to announce, after a lot of thought, I resigned from the Traffic Commission early this week. There were a variety of factors behind this but ultimately, it simply proved too difficult for me to be a board chair, with all of the responsibility and stress and frankly the occasional divisiveness that accompany that,” said Dan Phipps to Framingham Source.
Phipps was nominated by the Mayor in March to represent the business community on the Framingham Traffic Commission, a newly-created Commission established by the City Charter. Phipps, who lives in District 6, operates Phipps Bros. Restoration, as a self-employed carpenter.
The Framingham City Council unanimously approved his nomination, along with every one else Mayor Yvonne Spicer nominated to the Traffic Commission.
Phipps not only resigned as chair, he resigned from the Commission completely.
His term was set to expire on March 20, 2021. It is an unpaid position.
“Establishing a totally new Traffic Commission, with no operating history or precedent, is a tremendous project that will take years to accomplish successfully, and I think the City needs to find a better Chair to really get this process underway,” said Phipps to Source. ” I apologized deeply to the Mayor for the annoyance but in the end, I think we’ll all be better off.
The Traffic Commission held its first meeting on June 11, 2018.
“Jacquetta Van Zandt, Special Adviser to the Mayor, called the Meeting to order,” and served as chair for that meeting.
Phipps was elected Chair.
Since the Traffic Commission was created, Phipps said the Commission has “set the stage to completely update the Traffic Rules & Orders.”
The rules and order for Traffic in Framingham have not been updated for years.”Getting the process underway to reduce the statutory speed limit in thickly-settled districts to 25 mph” is one of the best things we have accomplished thus far, said Phipps.
But Phipps added those are also two of the most important things the Framingham Traffic Commission still needs to complete.
Created the Traffic Commission
Traffic was one of the top three issues during the mayoral debates last year.
Many residents in Framingham expressed frustration over speeding, crashes, construction causing additional traffic, etc.
All those issues are still problems in the City of Framingham, a year later.
The Charter requires the Traffic Commission be comprised of Framingham Police Chief (or designee), Framingham Fire Chief (or designee), Director of Public Works (or designee), Superintendent of Schools (or designee), and four residents – ““one from the business community, one from the downtown area (defined as the area within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Routes 126 and 135), and two residents at-large.”
But Mayor Yvonne Spicer missed the charter deadline to have the Traffic Commission in place and working to fix problems.
The Mayor’s office received 17 applicants for Traffic Commissioner – 15 males and 2 females.
The City interviewed 7 applicants.
The 11-member City Council unanimously approved the four individuals, selected by Spicer, on April 17.
The first meeting was held almost 60 days later.
The Commission has held a total of 6 meetings in 2018.
Framingham Traffic Commission members
Traffic Commission members now include:
- Steven P. Croci has held positions with both Genzyme Corporation and Boston Scientific; and is currently a member of American Society of Quality (ASA), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), American society of Training and Development (ASTD), American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), Licensed Construction Supervisor State of Massachusetts and is a Licensed Real Estate Broker state of Massachusetts. Croci currently resides in District 8 and lives within a one mile radius of routes 126 and 135.
- Mary Ann Flaherty, who had retired her position as the operations coordinator for the Rheumatology Immunology and Allergy of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A resident of District 3, she filled a Traffic Commissioner At Large position.
- Bruce N. Yeamans, a registered civil engineer at Lin Associates, Inc. with more than 40 years of street, roadway and traffic engineering experience. A resident of District 4, he filled a Traffic Commissioner At Large position.
- Framingham DPW designated deputy director Paul Barden serve on the Commission
- Framingham Police designed Lt. Harry Wareham serve on the Commission
- Framingham Fire designee Deputy Chief Kurt O‘Rourke
- Framingham Public Schools designee was former Framingham Assistant Superintendent of Schoosl Ed Gotart, until he retired in June 2018. Now it is Framingham Public Schools Executive Director of Finance and Operations Lincoln Lynch IV
The City of Framingham Charter specifically started: “There shall be a traffic commission which shall consist of the police chief, the fire chief, the director of public works, the superintendent of schools, or their designees, and four residents: one from the business community, one from the downtown area (defined as the area within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Routes 126 and 135), and two residents at-large. All resident members shall be appointed by the mayor. Such appointed members shall serve for three (3) year terms.”
The Commission’s last meeting was on October 23.