, Salem, MA


January 28, 2014

Letter: A 'no' vote won't solve anything

To the editor:

Count me as one (one among many, I’m sure) who was startled last fall when what I had long thought of as “the flyover project” became solely focused, for now at least, on the Brimbal/Sohier/Route 128 intersection. But count me as one (among many more) who has come to realize that not many things turn out exactly as you would like them or even when you want them; the phrase “all rising to (a) great place is by a winding stair” comes to mind. But growth and progress are usually achieved through recognizing realities, then adaptation, flexibility and persistence.

Count me most of all in support of the Phase I project, as a realistic and positive next step for all of Beverly — including Brimbal Avenue and other North Beverly residents.

Would I have preferred what is defined as Phase II, rather than Phase I? Sure, as that would relieve a lot of the pressure on Brimbal Avenue and open up much more space for commercial and industrial growth. But after nearly a decade of trying — hard — the mayor and planners accepted that there was no state transportation funding for new construction and that there was no way state economic development funding would address the $20 million new flyover interchange before the smaller Brimbal reconstruction proved viable.

“What’s the real problem with Brimbal Avenue? Why don’t we fix it by requiring the music theater to post traffic details before concerts like they do afterward? That seems to work.” Because traffic to and from the theater is only part of the problem. I’ve never personally seen traffic backed up onto Route 128, but we all know that it is often very difficult to turn onto Brimbal from the connector and from the southbound off-ramp, even at midafternoon. Sooner or later, this developer, or someone else, is going to put commercial development onto the Brimbal/Sohier parcel, and if it isn’t part of a swap, it’s going to mean many more left turns off of and back onto Brimbal Avenue and/or the connector, making those roads far worse than they are now.

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