FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Traffic Commission has stalled.
Created by the City Charter, the Traffic Commission has held just 6 meetings; and lost its first chair in November, when Dan Phipps resigned 6 months into his 3-year term.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer has yet to nominate an individual to replace former Chair Dan Phipps.
Spicer has advertised for a replacement member, but has yet to submit a name to the City Council for approval. It is not on the January 16 agenda, either.
Tuesday night, January 8, Framingham Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer III told the Framingham City Council that the vice chair has taken over, and “they have attempted to have some previous meetings, there were absences, and were not able to get a quorum.”
The last meeting of the Traffic Commission scheduled was in November 2018, but there was no quorum.
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, who was appointed by Mayor Spicer to represent the business community on the Commission, was elected the Commission’s first-elected chair at the June meeting. His term was set to expire on March 20, 2021. It was an unpaid position.
The rules and orders for traffic in Framingham have not been updated for years, said Phipps to SOURCE last year.
He said that was a priority for the Commission, as was “getting the process underway to reduce the statutory speed limit in thickly-settled districts to 25 mph.”
Creating the Traffic Commission
Traffic was one of the top three issues during the mayoral debates in 2017, before Spicer was elected, and it continues to be a top 5 issue for residents now. Many residents in Framingham have expressed frustration over speeding, crashes, construction causing additional traffic, etc.
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.”
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.
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 serves on the Commission
- Framingham Police designed Lt. Harry Wareham serves 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.”