Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said he has seen enough of the increased traffic on Route 60 East from Copeland Circle to Squire Road and toward the left turn lane in to Northgate Shopping Plaza.
During his remarks, Police Chief James Guido said the situation became more pronounced during the recent Stop & Shop workers’ strike when shoppers headed to the nearby Market Basket at Northgate. The 11-day strike has been settled.
The City Council approved Rizzo’s motion Monday night that Mayor Arrigo request the Department of Transportation to examine, study, and implement an expanded deceleration lane turning in to Northgate.
“People now that are entering Northgate Shopping Center coming from [the area] of Showcase Cinemas and Copeland Circle – it’s causing major backups,” said Rizzo. “We need to be working with MassDOT to increase the size of that deceleration lane so more vehicles can queue up – and then that traffic light is obviously going to have to be adjusted to let more people into Northgate.”
Guido said two years ago he was able to get the state to widen the ramps and make two lanes coming off of Route 1 South near Showcase Cinemas heading toward Copeland Circle.
“And it stopped the backup on Route 1,” Guido told the Council.
At that time, the chief said he also asked the state to increase the size of the left turn lane heading in to Market Basket.
“The work has been approved and it’s supposed to start in June,” said Guido. “That’s going to make a significant difference to the traffic on Squire Road.”
Council President Arthur Guinasso said there is often gridlock, especially on holidays, on that stretch of Squire Road near Market Basket “and it’s really a dangerous situation because there are so many residents that live in close proximity to that location.’’
Rizzo said he would like to see a plan move forward expeditiously on the traffic congestion and the Council agreed, with all members supporting his motion.
“Every day that goes by causes further frustration for people who get caught up in that traffic,” said Rizzo.