SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 13, 2014

Project's traffic impact disputed

Estimates vary from 30 to 300 more cars a day on Brimbal Avenue

(Continued)

“There isn’t a strict formula,” he said. “It’s a mixture of engineering judgments and statistics.”

North Beverly Neighborhood Association member Dan DeAngelis called Emery’s estimate of 30 vehicles “crazy.”

“I can’t imagine those numbers are correct,” DeAngelis said. “It doesn’t take into consideration all of the people who are going to come from Route 1A from Hamilton and northward, nor from Essex Street and the Montserrat neighborhood, to get to the store.”

More importantly, DeAngelis said, those numbers don’t reflect the fact that, based on the last publicly available design of the Brimbal Avenue interchange project, all vehicles will have to travel on Brimbal Avenue to reach a shopping plaza entrance.

The design indicates that vehicles coming from Route 128 north will have to travel along a new connector road and go around a roundabout on Brimbal Avenue to reach a plaza entrance on the other side of the connector road. The other entrance to the plaza is on Brimbal Avenue.

“The way the project is designed, every car has to go onto Brimbal Ave. at some point, even if they only briefly get onto that rotary,” DeAngelis said. “That’s 300 cars — five cars per minute — that have to go into that rotary.”

Emery said the full impact of the 300 cars would be seen only in the immediate vicinity of the plaza, not on the residential ends of Brimbal Avenue to the north and south.

He noted that the state has not yet come up with a final design for the interchange project that will surround the shopping plaza. One early design included a traffic signal that would allow a left-hand turn from the connector road into the plaza, a design that would keep those vehicles off Brimbal Avenue.

“The (design) is changing daily,” Emery said.

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