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Friday, August 24, 2012

Lowell Street Traffic Light Makes Bad First Impression

Twitter and the Word Around the Ward comment section was all abuzz yesterday with people talking about the activated light at Lowell and Medford street. For those of you playing at home, this light has been blinking since its installation, but was activated now that Magoun Square construction has been completed.

Driving this morning, this light certainly did not make a very good impression with me. Once green and letting a truck drive through the red light (on Medford), I proceeded through it, but the Medford Street/Broadway intersection light at CVS was still red which caused two people behind me to get stuck in the middle of Medford Street. They were still there when the Lowell Street facing light turned red, signaling the Medford light to turn green.

The word around the ward is that the light was installed per the traffic engineer, based on a petition that was submitted to the city. Surprisingly, at a meeting, it was revealed that the signees of the petition all live on the upper part of Lowell Street near Highland Avenue (which, of course, has a light there). I was never asked to sign a petition as a frequent user of Lowell Street, so I can’t give an exact date as to when it was submitted.

What I like about the light is that it does coordinate well with the new striping (keeping cars at a distance that allows motorists to exit Lowell onto Medford) and gives pedestrians an opportunity to cross safely.

Have you driven through it? What are your thoughts? Improvement ideas?


Anonymous said...

I was told by more than one city official that Joe Lynch, a community activist well known to all, and resident of a nearby Magoun Square street, had led the charge for that subject light to be installed where it now is.

As for that light not being in sync with the lights at Medford Street (CVS) & Broadway facing east, doesn't surprise me; as I predicted on one of your blogs here, that to be a potential problem that would create a back-up on Medford Street, back to lowell Street, that would preclude Lowell traffic entering Medford Street even with a facing green light.

Anonymous said...

I live on lowell and was not asked to sign a petition. I would have said no just as an fyi.

Anonymous said...

Why were Lowell street people asked that live near Highland? Were businesses asked? Fiske, Lowell Terrace?

Anonymous said...

I hate it

Anonymous said...

The entire intersection needs to be observed and light timing adjusted. When Porter Square was redone (adding a left turn out onto Mass Ave from CVS), it took weeks to fix things.

Anonymous said...

" took weeks to fix things." Somerville has a full-time professional Traffic Engineer and full-time Traffic & Parking Department on the payroll to figure these changes (problems) out and fix them, BEFORE a change in traffic pattern and/or traffic controls are implemented.