The proposal to build a 180-unit 40B complex on currently undeveloped land off Flagg Road has many neighbors sounding an alarm. Chief among residents’ concerns is the potential for increased traffic on Flagg Road as well as Route 9, but a study recently commissioned by developer Bill Depietri suggests the project will have only a minor impact on traffic in the area.
“The analysis has shown that the project will not create any new deficiencies, will have a small impact on existing locations that experience peak hour constraints, and can be safely accessed from Flagg Road,” concludes the 153-page report which you can read for yourself on the town website.
The report acknowledges the Route 9 corridor can get congested during peak travel times, but says the proposed 40B project, dubbed The Residences at Park Central, would not make the situation significantly worse, estimating an average of two or fewer car trips per minute would be added during peak times.
The access plan that was evaluated in the study includes converting the existing Park Central Drive off Route 9 into a one-way enter-only road. A new two-way access road would link the site to Flagg Road approximately 300 feet from its intersection with Route 9.
According to study estimates, the development would generate approximately 1,214 vehicle trips over the course of the day, of which 92 are anticipated to occur during the morning commute and 117 during peak evening times.
The report suggests most of the traffic leaving the development will head toward Route 9, but that any traffic going in the other direction down Flagg Road toward the schools and center of town can be handled by the existing roadways.
“Flagg Road and Deerfoot Road currently experience relatively low volumes and can accommodate additional traffic volume,” concludes the report.
Drivers wanting to exit Flagg Road onto Route 9 would encounter “an expected increase in vehicle delay” at the intersection.
The study recommends improving the 300-foot section of Flagg Road between the development’s access point and Route 9, as well as installing new traffic signs along Flagg Road.
At a hearing about the project in January, the Board of Selectmen deferred its opinion on the project pending the results of the traffic study. At the meeting, Selectman Bill Boland said that while a 40B developer can come to the board looking for support, any endorsement or opposition by selectmen is “kind of a formality.” Regardless of how selectmen feel about the project, if the 40B designation is approved by Mass Housing, the developer can bring plans before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Selectmen are expected to take up the discussion again at its meeting on Tuesday, May 7. The meeting begins at 6:30 pm in the Town House Hearing Room (2nd floor), and is open to the public.