Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/782418
"Cedar Street is holy hell. Everybody uses it as a shortcut to Route 9 and Route 16," said Debbie Ann Innes. "Taking a left from my driveway takes forever." "How about the left from Weston Road onto Linden Street at the bridge?" said Amy Sullivan Wagner. "If people just moved over then the cars going over the bridge could pass." That's not even the half of it. Dozens of residents responded to a Facebook query about traf- fic in Wellesley and didn't spare any feelings about consistent gridlock, the cars that cut through their quiet neighborhoods at what seems like law-breaking speeds, and the drivers who won't cede an inch of territory and let a car enter the same roadway. Even those traveling on foot feel the sting of traffic. "As a motorist and a runner…the traffic and creative driving I see is scary," said Nicole Johan Rand. "Wellesley has the worst 'do not enter' and 'no left turns' signage. I can't even cross Route 16 most days because not only is there constant traffic—no one stops at crosswalks." Wellesley is obviously not alone; the entire Boston area is gridlocked. But traffic problems became more acute in Wellesley in 2016 because of two construction projects: the new on-and- off-ramp configuration at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 9 and the five-month closure of the Central Avenue-Elliot Street bridge connecting Needham and Newton. Those projects forced commuters to drastically alter their traveling routes. For example, commuters who could always travel through the south end of Wellesley and eventually enter Newton via Central and Elliot had to, for nearly half the year, drive farther north and join the mob of vehicles on Routes 16 and 9. The projects have ended, and traffic patterns should be back to normal, but normalcy won't alleviate volume. Consider these numbers: A traffic study in late 2014 counted 15,400 vehicles per day on the Wellesley Square end of Washington Street, near the police station. Route 9, west of Emerson Road, saw 45,800 vehicles per day in 2013. Former Police Chief Cunningham and Deputy Police Chief Jack Pilecki grew up in Wellesley and remember fewer traffic jams and motor vehicle collisions simply because there were fewer motor vehicles. With the town's population now hovering near 29,000 and many families own- ing several cars, it's no wonder traffic is lousy. Add the many commuters of neighboring com- munities who have to pass through Wellesley on their way to work, Pilecki said, and you have significant traffic volume. Working on a Plan No one in town expects carpooling to become a craze overnight, especially with members of single households traveling in different directions at different times for work and school. Instead, offi- Traffic Jam 114 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 M E D I A B A K E R Y