Northside residents criticize “dangerous” state improvements to Rte 9 at Flagg Road

by beth on December 11, 2015

Residents questioning a Park Central traffic study raised another concern this week. As part of a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing, two residents criticized recent work done to Route 9 at Flagg Road as creating a hazard.

At a recent meeting, resident Howard Rose asked the ZBA to have the state refute past rumors that they may close access from Flagg Road to Route 9. This week, ZBA member David Eagle assured the audience that wasn’t the case. He pointed to the state’s recent work at that access point as proof of long term commitment.

Rose and Jon Green both told the board that the improvements have made the egress more treacherous for Flagg Road commuters.

As part of construction on Route 9, the physical barrier between on and off traffic at the site has been removed. According to both residents, Route 9 commuters now often use the right lane to cut around traffic and get to either Cumberland Farms or 495 quicker.

Rose said he’s almost been hit twice recently as a result. Green said that during traffic, entering Rte 9 is now much harder. Green refuted Eagle’s assumption that residents simply have to wait for the traffic light before Flagg Rd. to change.

Green pointed out that residents at Madison Place use that light to turn onto Rte 9 West. He said that, during morning rush hour, the light change gives drivers “maybe 30 seconds before traffic catches up.”

The points were made as part of a larger discussion on an updated traffic study released on Park Central. The developments going in off of Flagg Road will purportedly double the number of residences in the area.

Stating the density of the Park Central project may be a bit too much, Green said:

I don’t think the people in town understand per se what impact this is going to have for the entire north side of Southborough.

Both residents said they believed developer Bill Depietri had a right to build the development. And Rose went so far as to say he actually likes the most recent design. But he followed that he has serious concerns about the danger of the increased traffic.

Rose called on Town officials to pressure the state to improve access.

It’s a safety matter for us and for the people coming in, and if the Town would actually come up and fight with MassDOT a little bit and give us the access we need, this would be a much simpler and easier process.

Note: I’ll share more on the updated traffic study and extensive discussion in a post next week.

1 Alan December 12, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Truth be told people going into Cumberland farms used the right lane before rt 9 was repaved and need to as the entrance is so close to Flagg rd. I do not agree with traffic using that lane so soon to get off onto 495. If they put the solid white line in front of Cumberland farms like it was before that might help. If they do we then get the tractor trailers parking on rt 9 again which make leaving Cumberland farms tough. There is no parking signs there on rt 9 but the police need to enforce it. In any event the biggest problem I have been seeing is the people leaving Flagg rd do not stop at the stop sign.

2 Allan Bezanson December 14, 2015 at 9:47 AM

Merging from Flagg at the time of the morning commute includes another element of sport when you look directly into the sun.

3 mike December 15, 2015 at 9:14 AM

The state really needs to put the arrows on the roads so people know that right lane is for exiting and entering Route 9. It really is very dangerous and it has really become more dangerous with the road being paved. A separate issue is the speed now at least when I travel it in the morning is 65-75 mph by some. Even Algonquin bus passed me doing 65 mph when I was doing 60mph. The posted speed is 55mph. I dont know who can request patrols or who is responsible for patrolling that area but they could literally write 20-30 tickets in a 15 minute time slot in the morning.

4 Kelly Roney December 15, 2015 at 4:57 PM

A rumble strip to protect the Flagg Rd. merge would help, too.

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