With a narrowing road, a steep incline and limited visibility, the junction of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B has always been a tough spot for cars and, currently, Moretown is petitioning the state to install a four-way stop sign at the dangerous intersection.
Moretown resident Jamie Wimble brought the idea before the Moretown Select Board at their meeting on October 21. The town has since submitted a petition to the Vermont State Traffic Committee, who over the next two to three months will conduct a study of the need for a four-way stop sign, assessing the number of accidents that have occurred at that intersection and other relevant information.
This past summer, when determining what section of sidewalk to apply for a grant from the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition to build or reconstruct, the Moretown Safe Routes to School/Sidewalk Committee ruled out the section of sidewalk along the west side of Route 100B from the post office to the town yard because it crosses the intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B.
That section of sidewalk had received the most votes from residents who responded to a survey ranking which sections of sidewalk in the village they'd like to see repaired first and, while the select board agreed with residents that the section of sidewalk that crosses the intersection along the west side of Route 100B would be the most valuable to the town, it would also be the most complicated.
The intersection of Moretown Mountain Road and Route 100B—to put it kindly—"has issues," select board chair Tom Martin said, and other board members expressed concern about the cars that come down Moretown Mountain Road in winter and slide straight across Route 100B into the guardrail. Would it be wise to put a sidewalk along that guardrail?
In the end, the board agreed to apply for a $375,000 grant to reconstruct the section of sidewalk on the east side of Route 100B in the upper village between Moretown Mountain Road and Hurdle Road and, early in October, the town learned that they received it.
As for the section of sidewalk that crosses the intersection along the west side of Route 100B, the select board agreed that the intersection will need to be reconstructed before any sidewalk can be installed.
In the past, the board has discussed the possibility of buying the house for sale at the southeast corner of the intersection, as it would be easier to own it while planning its reconstruction and, on October 21, select board member John Hoogenboom reported that the house is still for sale and that the price has been reduced to $85,000.
With the closing of Moretown Landfill this past summer, the select board recognized that the town is facing a greatly reduced revenue stream and may not be able to make the purchase at this time.