, Salem, MA


February 5, 2014

Letter: Finding a better way

To the editor:

The closer we get to the vote on Brimbal Avenue, the murkier the issues become. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and find a better way.

What are the city’s goals and priorities?

Are we trying to relieve the traffic on Dunham Road when the North Shore Music Theatre is playing? If so, some variation on Phase II does that. Phase I has no impact on Dunham Road.

If we are trying to prevent cars from backing up onto Route 128, the 500 feet of additional exit road will only act as a buffer for 20 or 25 cars. (Pretty expensive parking at $5 million!) Phase II can be designed correctly to do a better job.

If we are trying to accommodate Whole Foods, they would be better off on the land behind the HoJo/Burger King plaza, which already has access to Route 128 and in Phase II has a connection to Otis Road for Beverly shoppers.

If we are trying to improve traffic flow on Brimbal Avenue, the intersection with Enon and Dodge streets should be the first priority.

We need to get the numbers straight!

About 1,750 seats at the North Shore Music Theatre imply about 700 cars trying to get in through two rotaries in an hour and out in 15 minutes. Similarly 7,500 jobs north of Route 128 imply 7,500 cars going through the rotaries twice a day at rush hour. (A 300-foot-diameter rotary will be full to capacity with about 16 cars.) The solution for the Sagamore Bridge and Bell Circle was to remove the rotaries. Coming out of Gloucester on Washington Street to get on Route 128 or out of Methuen on Route 113 to get to Route 93, I experience long backups. Rotaries are not a cure-all and they have a limited range of effective operation.

We need to sort out the real issues from the distractions.

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