The Metrowest Daily News reports that MassDOT made a presentation last week on changes they are considering to relieve traffic and improve safety for the area of Rte 495 near Rte 9 and the MassPike. The study included many recommendations. Two that may be of particular interest to Southborough residents, (in 2012 dollars):
improving the Crystal Pond Road/Rte. 9 intersection ($2.1 million), enhancing the Park Central Drive and Flagg Road area ($1.5 million) and improving the Research Drive and Connector Road area ($685,000).
Other recommendations that directly reference Southborough include:
- “widening Route 9 to three lanes westbound from Computer Drive in Westborough to Deerfoot Road in Southborough. Route 9 eastbound would be widened from Coslin Drive (Southborough) to Deerfoot Road. . . includes areas of wetlands, will be required along the north side of Route 9 at the former Verizon property in Southborough to accommodate the third lane. The cost of the Route 9 widening as proposed is approximately $9.2 million”
- Consolidate driveways on Route 9 East of I-495
- “Encourage . . .Southborough to revise zoning codes to provide for smaller-scale retail/service development within walking distance to support the needs of employees within the office/industrial parks in the study area.”
- “Implement bus shuttle service from the Southborough Commuter Rail Station to job centers in the I-495/Route 9 area”
- “Encourage . . . Southborough to revise zoning codes to provide for more transit supportive development”
- The MWRTA is extending their Route 1 Green Line shuttle service, from MBTA Woodland Green Line station to the Westborough Technology Park, including a stop at the Southborough station starting this fall.
- Town should improve accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians
The MassDOT study and recommendations can be found here. MassDOT apparently allowed a 45-day public comment period. That is set to expire next Monday, September 16, 2013.
Think elements of the plan are a must that will improve traffic flow? Have specific concerns about impact? See any flaws in the plan? Whatever your opinion, if you want to weigh in, submit your comments ASAP to:
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Office of Transportation Planning
10 Park Plaza, Room 4150
Boston, MA 02116
Attention: Paul Nelson
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The study does refer to implementation steps requiring review with the Town of Southborough on construction plans. I’m not an expert on these matters. So I’m not sure what the Town’s authority or role would be in any of the highway changes the state chooses to pursue. (Anyone who is an expert is free to post a comment educating us!)
The study also acknowledges that encouraged town by-law changes would require approval by Town Meeting.