Over the past 24 hours I have read a lot of material about the proposed changes to the intersection of Woburn St & Mass Ave. After learning a lot about the plan for this intersection and other aspects of the Center Streetscape Improvements project, and after actually thinking about how these changes will change things in Lexington, I have changed my mind about this upcoming vote at Town Meeting.
I have changed my mind and now urge those of you on Town Meeting to vote
in favor of this Phase I of the design and plan.
First, what is being voted on at this 2015 Sptring Town Meeting
Regarding the Woburn St & Mass Ave intersection, Joe Pato's illustration inspired me to find other examples which I think are informative. First, here are two before and after illustrations of what the changes will look like.
This is looking towards Lexington Center:
In summary, I see several major improvements by voting for the Phase I Lexington Center Streetscape project:
- With the box in the center of the intersection there is much better separation and definition about where you are supposed to be. Pedestrians clearly know where to walk and cars know where to expect pedestrians. With the traffic light, cars will no longer need to play Crash Car Combat™ when making a left turn onto Woburn St coming out of the Center. Pedestrians will no longer need to play Frogger™ when trying to get from one sidewalk to another.
- Like it or not, the amount of traffic going through Lexington Center seems to have increased over the years. One of the effects of a traffic light at the Woburn St/Mass Ave intersection will be to spread cars over a greater distance in the Center. At times of high traffic, the stream of cars that build up at the light at Mass Ave and Waltham St is large. It is rare at these times that cars headed towards the Minuteman Statue on Mass Av are able to clear the left-turn signal on to Waltham St in one cycle of the light. This results in much frustration and lane changing of cars in the left lane that want to go straight through that intersection.
The traffic light at Mass Ave and Woburn St will introduce a beneficial delay in the flow of traffic spreading the traffic load over a longer distance of Mass Ave.
Thank you all for reading about my thoughts that have evolved over the last day and a half. I hope Town Meeting Members will support this article when it comes up for vote.