, Salem, MA


May 21, 2014

Letter: Ipswich drive-thru would be a traffic hazard

To the editor:

Right now, making your way through Lord Square is not easy if you walk or bike. You’ve got several intersections with cars and trucks zipping through as quickly as they can manage, as well as cars and trucks entering and exiting Dunkin’ Donuts and the gas station opposite. Driving does require care, but I hold my breath, especially for the safety of the bicyclists and the walkers, many of whom are young schoolchildren. Only the bravest adults walk through Lord Square. And, certainly, not at rush hour or other peak traffic times.

I keep in mind that the twisting roadway of Lord Square is a main road not only for local trucking but also for 18-wheelers driving east to Cape Ann or north and west to the major highways. Lord Square is burdened with heavy traffic, more especially during the warm-weather tourist season. Adding a drive-thru can only increase traffic, more so as time passes and folks nearby take advantage of the convenience — we all like to save time.

I’m not looking forward, though, to driving through Lord Square if Roy Serpa, owner of Dunkin’ Donuts, is granted the variance he’s asking for. Not only will there be a drive-thru in Lord Square, but the roadway and buildings will be completely redesigned.

Some of the changes will be a real improvement. The new buildings will be more attractive than those that exist. There will no longer be a left turn from High Street to Dunkin’ Donuts (Bill George was the only selectman wise enough to oppose the left turn many years ago).

Other changes will, however, decrease safety. Most of the islands that have slowed traffic will be removed. Directions will be painted on the road. A sitting area in front of the proposed new Dunkin’ Donuts building will provide a bird’s-eye view of the chaotic traffic.

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