Nightmare intersection to be transformed

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    Nightmare intersection to be transformed

    Worcester has its share of nightmarish intersections, crossroads that can turn a good day bad. Main at Chandler, anyone? For that matter, Chandler at Park Ave. Belmont Street and, well, pretty much everything.

    Lincoln Square (Google 3D map)

    Most of the usual suspects, though, at least have traffic lights. You may have to sit through two lights and what seems like a 5-minute crosswalk signal, but soon it will be your turn and everyone else gets to suffer.

    There are some intersections that lack lights, though, where your taste for adventure (or anarchy) increases the longer you sit there.

    (We’re not going to talk about Kelley Square; it’s weird in the most likable way and, it just so happens, already doomed as we know it.)

    A good example of this is Forest and Salisbury streets. If you’re there at the wrong time of day, good luck trying to take a left from Salisbury to Forest. Ditto for trying to cross afternoon traffic from Forest to head to Park Ave.

    On Tuesday, the City Council will consider moving ahead with a major transformation to a nightmarish intersection, the one at Shore Drive, Holden Street and Drummond Ave.

    For those who’ve never experienced this during morning or evening commutes, let’s review.

    In the morning, traffic backs up Drummond Ave. because of those taking the quick left-right jog onto Shore Drive. (Google 3D map)

    During the morning rush, traffic coming down Drummond Ave. backs up as drivers want to cross Holden Street to take an immediate right on Shore Drive, presumably to get to I-190 or I-290.

    This intersection really shows its teeth at night where traffic on Shore Drive can back up to the Greendale Y or, and this has happened, the 190 bridge.

    After years of planning, the city and MassDOT have come up with a fix, a pretty radical one as these things go. 

    Under the city’s plan, Shore Drive would be rerouted so that its end would directly face Drummond Ave. In addition, the corners or Shore Drive would be widened and softened to make right turns onto Holden Street easier, and Holden Street northbound would be widened a bit to make the right turn onto Shore Drive a bit softer. A traffic signal will also be added.

    When complete, Shore Drive will face Drummond Ave. and it will be easier to take a right turn from Holden Street onto Shore Drive.

    The City Council needs to vote to take the land needed to make this happen.

    In a letter to the Council, City Manager Ed Augustus wrote, “The plans for this project depict 13 temporary and 15 permanent easements over property owned by abutters that need to be obtained by the City to secure a clear right-of-way. These easement parcels were appraised, and land owners have been notified, in conformance with MassDOT and Federal Highway requirements. The total cost of the temporary and permanent easements is $269,000.”

    In a letter to Augustus, DPW&P Commissioner Paul Moosey wrote, “MassDOT is ready to advertise this project for construction. MassDOT will oversee construction of the $2.3 million dollar project.”

    The reconfiguration should reduce the brutal backups on Shore Drive.

    The only thing left is to figure out where The Dogfather will go.

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