Guidelines - roadway Hardware

Guardrails are used for safety where the roadside edge drops off or other hazards occur just off the pavement edge. Many of Lincoln's guardrails are in disrepair and unsightly. In ongoing efforts to upgrade Lincoln's roadside character, the Town could consider using a consistent approach to the replacement and repair of guardrails, to reduce costs and lessen their visual impact. See the full Report for recommended standards with the goal to reinforce the rural character of Lincoln's roads.

Storm Water Management
Storm water runoff from Lincoln's roadways is either collected by catch basins and discharged into the environment via drain lines, or distributed from the pavement directly to the shoulder of the roadway and directly infiltrated into the ground. Environmentally, best practices favored by cities and towns is to encourage infiltration, both to replenish ground water supplies as well as to take advantage of the natural pollution abatement offered by plants and soils. See the full Report for suggestions.

Signs / Traffic Control Hardware
Lincoln’s roadways include signage and traffic control hardware required for public safety and information. For the most part these elements are seen as a normal part of typical roadways and discounted as an issue to be dealt with in a roadside improvement program. While the shape and content of such signs are controlled by state and national standards, their detailed placement and mounting hardware are subject to better practices. Public bodies such as the National Park Service as well as institutions and non-profit organizations provide examples of such practices. Recent changes in sign support hardware at Five Corners in Lincoln demonstrate a more refined design solution utilizing a round pole painted black.

Utility Poles and Lines
The utility companies such as NSTAR, Verizon and Comcast have an obligation to keep their lines and poles functioning and safe. In Lincoln, virtually all these services are above ground and along the roadside edge, except in certain subdivisions. Thus how these utilities carry out the maintenance of lines and poles has a major impact on the visual character and safety of Lincoln’s roadsides. NSTAR has guidelines for pruning that follow the rule that its line must have clearance from limbs as follows: 8 ft. side clearance, 8 ft. clearance below, and 12 ft. clearance above the line. While these dimensions are often not rigidly adhered to, the practical impact of line maintenance is to often create deformed tree crowns that neither enhance the roadway scene nor the tree’s structural integrity. The Town’s planting practices should recognize this reality and carefully locate new plantings to avoid the utility line conflicts.