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Letter: The I-95 Add-a-Lane Project, and Traffic, is Almost Here

Waban resident Sallee Lipshutz reminds residents about a meeting this Thursday, Jan. 31 to discuss concerns about the I-95 Add-a-Lane project.

To the Editor:

WAKE UP, WABAN! THE TRAFFIC IS COMING, THE TRAFFIC IS COMING!

Add-A-Lane is nearly here! The design process of the Mass Department of Transportation is almost 75 percent complete. The Public Safety and Transportation Committee of the City of Newton’s Board of Aldermen has had the item on its agenda eight times already. The time to get educated and involved is NOW! 

THE MASS DOT IS PROPOSING A PERMANENT CHANGE TO THE INTERSECTION OF RT. 9 AND RT. 128/95 THAT INVOLVES MORPHING THE EXISTING FOUR-LEAF CLOVERLEAF INTO A TWO-LEAF CLOVERLEAF. They want to install two traffic lights at the intersection that will allow eastbound Rt. 9 drivers to turn left onto Rt. 128/95 north and westbound Rt. 9 drivers to turn left onto Rt. 128/95 south. The consequence of installing these traffic lights will be to cause traffic to back up on Rt. 9 in both the eastward and westward directions. What will drivers do when they see the backed-up traffic ahead of them?

In Wellesley they will have to wait since they have no viable escape route. In Newton they will have a choice.

Quinobequin Road and Chestnut Street will become major thoroughfares for drivers wishing to escape traffic backed up along Rt. 9 westbound. Think of Rt. 9 westbound from Woodward Street to Rt. 128/95 as a parking lot pulsed by the left turn light for cars traveling eastbound on Rt. 9 who wish to turn onto Rte 128/95 north.

If this scenario disturbs you and you wish to have your voice heard, I implore you to attend a meeting of concerned citizens at the Waban Library Center, 1608 Beacon Street, Waban, Thursday night, January 31, 2013 at 7:30pm. We are inviting our three City Aldermen and our State Senator and State Representatives to join us to hear the concerns of many Waban residents about the impact this ill-conceived design will have on our bucolic village.  

--Sallee Lipshutz
Member, Ad hoc committee to form future Waban Area Council

Matt Carter January 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Have you or do you have any traffic engineering experience? I do. Right now the current interchange with loop ramps and weaving between exits falls well below FHWA standards and causes severe safety issues. Adding the two sets of traffic lights will work as long as they are timed with the other signals on Route 9. The redesign achieves the elimination of the safety issues by eliminating the dangerous weaving movements between the exit ramps and eliminating the sharp curves on the off ramps that cause so many accidents. I congratulate MassDOT on the design of this interchange.
Matt Carter January 30, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Also if you don't like this design I would like to hear your proposal because I have tried to think of one that meets State/FHWA standards and I can't.

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