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If you are unable to make it to your polling location you may be able to vote absentee. If you are a registered Massachusetts voter you may apply for an absentee ballot due to:
Absentee voting ballot requires you to submit a written request to receive the ballot. This can be done by completing an Absentee Ballot Application form or by sending us a letter. Read on:
Send all correspondences regarding Absentee Ballot requests to:
Office of the City Clerk210 Main St., Room 4Northampton, MA 01060
Note: For primary elections you will be sent an absentee ballot for the party in which you are affiliated. If you are an UNENROLLED voter (have no political party affiliation), you must choose a party ballot.
Comcast also maintains a 24 hours, seven days a week customer service phone line 1-800-266-2278 .
All air source heat pumps (ASHP) include an outdoor unit that will look similar to the unit in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Typical ASHP outdoor unit
Ductless air source heat pumps, sometimes referred to as mini-splits, will have one or more indoor units that mount high on an inside wall. Figure 2 shows a typical air source heat pump indoor unit.
Figure 2: Typical ASHP indoor unit with remote control
Ducted air source heat pumps are connected directly to a building’s ductwork so there are no indoor wall units to be seen.
Ducted air source heat pumps – A ducted system has an outdoor unit that is connected to a building’s ductwork, much the same way that a furnace is connected to a home’s ductwork. Only with an air source heat pump the system is not creating heat, but rather moving it from the outdoor air inside so that the air handler in your ductwork can circulate it throughout the building. Cideo on ductless air source heat pumps
If you currently use electric baseboard, oil, propane or natural gas to heat your house you will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by converting some or all of your heating needs to an air source heat pump. An air source heat pump being run by electricity you buy from a Massachusetts utility will produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of heat delivered than even the most energy efficient traditional home heating system. This fact takes into account the greenhouse gas emissions caused by producing the electricity to run the heat pump and from any leakage of refrigerant while charging or operating the heat pump. If your electricity supply includes more low/no-carbon renewable energy than the standard utility mix then your greenhouse gas emissions will be even lower.
Because cold climate air source heat pumps are highly energy efficient, installing a system makes you eligible for a rebate from MassSAVE – Massachusetts’ utility-supported energy efficiency program. Depending on the type and efficiency of heat pump you install, Mass Save offers rebates of up to $500 for heat pumps. Additional information on these rebates can be found here: https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/residential-rebates/electric-heating-and-cooling/.
Mass Save also offers a HEAT Loan for efficient technologies like heat pumps. Through the HEAT Loan program, you could qualify for a 0% interest loan of up to $25,000 over a term of up to 7 years, which you could use to finance your heat pump installation. Additional information on the HEAT Loan can be found here: https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/residential-rebates/heat-loan-program/
Because cold climate air source heat pumps are considered a clean heating and cooling technology, installing a system makes you eligible for a rebate from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) – Massachusetts’ renewable energy support agency. Rebates from the MassCEC range from $625 to $6,000 per system depending on system type and your income and family size. Additional information on these rebates can be found here: http://www.masscec.com/get-clean-energy/residential/air-source-heat-pumps
Contractors selected to provide air source heat pumps through the HeatSmart Northampton program will help customers determine more exact payback times after rebates for each specific system.
To put this into context, in Northampton typical nighttime low winter temperatures stay above zero degrees Fahrenheit and generally stay above 10 degrees Fahrenheit. But on rare occasions temperatures have been known to drop well below zero. Therefore a backup system would be needed on rare occasions.
Amherst, Chelsea, Natick, Weston, Arlington, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Westwood, Bedford, Fairhaven, Newton, Winchester, Boston, Fitchberg, Randolph, Winthrop, Brookline, Greenfield, Salem, Woburn, Cambridge, Hamilton, Sharon, Cape Cod (20 towns), Haverhill, Shirley, Chelmsford, Holyoke, Watertown
A 2001 Institute study of 23 intersections in the United States reported that converting intersections from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 80 percent and all crashes by 40 percent.1 Similar results were reported by Eisenman et al.: a 75 percent decrease in injury crashes and a 37 percent decrease in total crashes at 35 intersections that were converted from traffic signals to roundabouts.2 Studies of intersections in Europe and Australia that were converted to roundabouts have reported 41-61 percent reductions in injury crashes and 45-75 percent reductions in severe injury crashes.3
In the study of crashes at Maryland roundabouts, Institute researchers concluded that unsafe speeds were an important driver crash factor. Some drivers may not have seen the roundabout in time. Measures to alert drivers of the need to reduce speeds (e.g., speed limit signs well in advance of roundabouts) and increase the conspicuity of roundabouts (e.g., larger roundabout ahead signs and YIELD signs, enhanced landscaping of center islands, pavement with reflector markings) may help to reduce crashes at roundabouts. Certain design features such as adequate curvature of approach roads also may aid in reducing speeds.
A recent Institute study documented missed opportunities to improve traffic flow and safety at 10 urban intersections suitable for roundabouts where either traffic signals were installed or major modifications were made to signalized intersections.8 It was estimated that the use of roundabouts instead of traffic signals at these 10 intersections would have reduced vehicle delays by 62-74 percent. This is equivalent to approximately 325,000 fewer hours of vehicle delay on an annual basis.
The additional travel lanes in multi-lane roundabouts increase the complexity of the driving task. Information is not yet available on drivers' attitudes toward multi-lane roundabouts in the United States.
Biodegradable bags - Bags that: (1) contact no polymers derived from fossil fuels; and (2) are intended for single use and will decompose in a natural setting to an environmentally beneficial material at a rate comparable to other biodegradable materials such as paper, leaves, and food waste.
Compostable plastic bags - plastic bags that: (1) conform to the current America Society for Testing and Materials International D6400 for compostability; (2) are certified and labeled as meeting the ASTM D6400 standard specification by a recognized verification entity; and (3) conform to any other standards deemed acceptable by this section.
1. Thin-film plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat, bulk foods, wet items and other similar merchandise, typically without handles;
2. Any flexible transparent covering for uncooked or raw meat, poultry, raw fish, hard cheese, cold cuts, fruit, and vegetable products, baked goods, or bread;
3. Thin-film single-use plastic bags under 3.0 mils purchased prior to April 1, 2015, and used before July 1, 2018.
If an additional violation of the ordinance has occurred within one year after a warning notice has been issued for an initial violation, the Mayor's designee shall issue a notice of violation and shall impose a penalty against the retail establishment.
The penalty for each violation that occurs after the issuance of the warning notice shall be no more than: 1) $50 for the first offense; 2) $100 for the second offense and all subsequent offenses. No more than one penalty shall be imposed upon a retail establishment within a seven-calendar-day period.
There is no real evidence to indicate that stop signs decrease the speed of traffic. Impatient drivers view the additional delay caused by unwarranted stop signs as "lost time" to be made up by driving at higher speeds between stop signs.
Unwarranted stop signs breed disrespect by motorists who tend to ignore them or slow down without stopping. These "roll through" stops can sometimes lead to tragic consequences.
Unwarranted stop signs also create negative environmental impacts via increased CO2 emissions, decreased fuel efficiency, and degraded neighborhood sound/air quality.
The purpose of the stop sign is to prevent collisions. It is not intended, nor shall it be used for the control of speed, traffic calming, or to forestall pedestrian, rear-end, or turning movement accidents.
To insure uniformity in stop sign studies and recommendations, the warrants as provided in the 2003 MUTCD. Section 2B.05 will govern.
Multi-way stop Signs must meet the warrant criteria as outlined in Section 2B.07 of the 2003 MUTCD.
Source: Massachusetts amendments to the 2003 manual on uniform traffic control devices and the standard municipal traffic code, October 2006
Is this an intersection of a minor road with a main road where application of the normal right-of-way rule (e.g. yield to the right) is unduly hazardous?
Is this an intersection where a street enters an arterial (major) street?
Is this an intersection where a combination of speed, restricted view and reported crash history indicates a need for control by the stop sign?
Where traffic control signals are justified, the multiway stop is an interim measure that can be installed quickly to control traffic while arrangements are being made for the installation of the traffic control signal.
A crash problem, as indicated by 5 or more reported crashes in a 12-month period that are susceptible to correction by a multiway stop installation. Such crashes include right- and left-turn collisions as well as right-angle collisions.
Minimum volumes:The vehicular volume entering the intersection from the major street approaches (total of both approaches) averages at least 300 vehicles per hour for any 8 hours of an average day, and
The combined vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle volume entering the intersection from the minor street approaches (total of both approaches) averages at least 200 units per hour for the same 8 hours, with an average delay to minor-street vehicular traffic of at least 30 seconds per vehicle during the highest hour, but
f the 85th-percentile approach speed of the major-street traffic exceeds 65 km/h or exceeds 40 mph, the minimum vehicular volume warrants are 70 percent of the above values.
Where no single criterion is satisfied, but where Criteria B, C.1, and C.2 are all satisfied to 80 percent of the minimum values. Criterion C.3 is excluded from this condition.
source: 2003 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
Sometimes these traffic studies are conducted for the city by an outside entity like the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) or, in the case of a new commercial or housing project, by private engineering firms paid for by the project developer.
The unofficial rules of thumb at four-way stop intersections are as follows:
If you are the only vehicle at the intersection, stop, look all ways, and proceed.
If there is already another vehicle at the intersection, it has the right-of-way.
If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of way.
Research has shown that unwarranted stop signs and stop signs that have been used for speed control, do not have the effect desired. Speeds between the stop signs increase as drivers try to make up for lost time. Drivers tend to roll through the unwarranted stop signs with higher frequency (over 50%).
Traffic accidents at unwarranted stop controlled intersection are often higher than when the intersection was uncontrolled or two-way stop controlled. There is also an increase in noise and air pollution levels to nearby residents as the result of vehicles braking and accelerating.
Stop signs cannot be viewed as a cure-all for solving all safety problems, but, when properly located, they can be useful traffic control devices to enhance safety for all roadway users.
When a Snow Emergency is called, a City-wide night parking ban goes into effect: overnight parking is prohibited on any street from 12:01 a.m. - 6 a.m., except downtown on Main Street where the prohibition is from 2 a.m. - 7 a.m.
Snow Emergencies remain in effect until cancelled and are often enforced for more than one night. The Winter Information Line is updated and Alert emails are sent when the Snow Emergency is cancelled.
Overnight parking is available in the John E. Gare garage at all hours on a space-available basis. There is a fee for overnight parking in the garage. Free overnight parking is available in the city parking lot on Armory Street (near the Parking Garage) from 8 p.m. - 8 a.m.
If you park on a city street or in a city parking lot (except the Armory Street lot) your vehicle will be subject to ticketing and towing. This is a public safety issue.
Parking bans can extend a few days, stay informed by calling the snow information line at 413-586-6969 or by signing up with Reverse-911 to receive, email, text or telephone updates.
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If you are unable to still receive mail go to your local Post Office and make arrangements for mail pick up.
If your mailbox was damaged as a result of city snowplowing operations visit the City Clerk's Office website for information on filing a claim. City Clerk's Office
It is important for the health and safety of residents that sidewalks are cleared of snow within 24 hours from the end of a snow event. If you are responsible for a sidewalk on your property please clear the snow as soon as possible. Fines can be levied by the Police Department if snow is not cleared. Changes were recently made to the sidewalk snow removal ordinance, a link to the ordinance is available below.