Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Dilemma Zone

The light turns yellow as the intersection approaches. If you hit the breaks, you could get rear ended. If you go through the light, you could get hit. What do you do?

It’s a dilemma. And apparently, it’s one of the main causes of accidents on Rte. 44 that was discussed at the Mass Highway meeting last night in Middleboro.

...Where we learned that in the last three years there have been 100 accidents on the Middleboro stretch of 44 alone. Which was a little surprising even to those who’ve lived along the problematic highway for many years.

What is more surprising is that finally someone's going to do something about it.

Mass Highway is putting in turning lanes at the four Middleboro intersections with Rte. 44.


I could never understand why Middleboro seemed so resistant to the concept of the turning lane, especially since, for years, they’ve been cropping up pretty much everywhere else in efforts to reduce accidents and ease congestion. But once those turning lanes at the horrible intersection of Rtes. 28 and 105 showed up, I knew my old hometown had stepped into a new century.

And last night, an enormously grateful group of people showed up to listen to the presentation by Mass. Highway. We at even found ourselves on the same page as Town Planner Ruth Geoffroy and CRAC Chairman Brian Giovannoni. It was all good - the public good.


(wait for it...............)

Adam Bond raises his hand. Yes?

"Um... say a casino or… or… the new Plymouth Movie Studio comes into the picture..."

No kidding. First words out of his mouth. CASINO.

"…is there some way… in other words… what could STOP this project?"

The highway guy, not being from the Land of Oz, looks confused. Apparently, no one has ever done this.

This is Adam’s dilemma zone: After installing these turning lanes, Mass. Highway isn’t going to touch Rte. 44 for at least another 5 years. And that means no double barreled highway or other infrastructure improvements to the road which would make life easier (and cheaper) for casino investors. It could potentially even (gasp!) delay The Project.

But by all means, let’s see if we can’t delay the turning lanes instead. I mean, what’s another 100 accidents more or less if it saves some billionaires a little coin.

Adam regroups. “Well, ok, then how long after a Notice to Proceed will it start?”


I watch as Adam mentally adjusts his casino timeline.

The highway guy continues, “If you stop it, you will have to pay a penalty.”

Ooops. There goes someone’s year-end bonus.

A few minutes later, another hand is raised. “Nothing should stop it! How long have we waited for it? Why would anyone even mention stopping it?”

With casino interests at the wheel, that isn't much of a dilemma.


betty said...

Mr. Bond has become a joke in his own time. It's all about the casino that will NEVER come and he isn't capable of running the town.
The protests over the fatalities on that road pre-date his invasion of Middleboro.

lisa said...

Many of us argued for the turn lanes when the state added the right turn lanes. It should have been done years ago, but at least it's finally being addressed. Anyone stopped at the lights knows how treacherous it is, especially with tourists, motor homes, trucks pulling boats and trailers. It's pretty wild in the summer and maybe Mr. Bond should famiarize himself with the town beyond Rock St.

frank of Lakeville said...

Mr Bond works for the investors, not Mdbro. When will voters wake up? Hes pising people off who dont live in town but use that road. And the clown thought he should be town manger? Wake up people!

Janet said...

I make a left on 44 with my kids in the car and am concerned about being rearended.
All I can say is 'How dare Mr. Bond question this?'
Not all of it is about his casino.

fran said...

We would have attended this meeting if we had known. It should have been publicized more and should have been televised.
Everyone needs to know about Adam's public comments.
That road is horrible and I hate it with my kids in the car.
This is about keeping people safe and needs to move ahead as fast as possible.

ken said...

What would we do without you to comment on Mr. Bond's great words of wisdom, Gladys?
Keep it up!
Would someone get the man a shovel?

carverchick said...

The plan presented last evening is quite good...not perfect, but it certainly will make travel on that road much safer for everyone.

It was also really .... eeer..."different" to be on the same page as Brian, and quite refreshing. He made some really good points to make about the rotary (which will still be a problem) as well as suggesting a guardrail along the road to prevent head on collisions.

Ruth also made an excellent point about the Plymouth Street intersection, stating that there needs to be enough time at the light cycle for pedestrians and bicyclists to be able to cross 44 safely.

All in all...a great project that will benefit everyone!

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all. I thought 44 was a big part of the whole casino argument, gridlock, accidents, delays.

Anonymous said...

I travel Route 44 daily and I haven't seen a police cruiser in years. That would slow people down who are coming from Plymouth and think they're still on a highway. Why isn't the town doing it's part as well?

Fiferstone said...

Hi Gladys, thanks for blogging on this. People can still send in comments in support of this project, if there is any concern that it might not go forward on its current timetable owing to local opposition:

Information on the project can be found HERE:

We have 10 days from the date of the hearing (5/28/08) to write to the engineer in charge of the project and have our comments included in the transcript for the meeting:

Frank A. Tramontozzi, P.E., Chief Engineer, Massachusetts Highway Department, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116.
Mailed statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public hearing transcript must be postmarked within ten (10) business days of the Public Hearing.

Gladys Kravitz said...


There were definitely some great questions and suggestions last night. Highway meetings are always interesting. Everyone pools their knowledge and concerns for the common good.

I'm looking forward to the new improvements!


carverchick said...

Gladys, I too am looking forward to the improvements. I travel that road every day, and just this afternoon almost saw a car that was using the right turn lane to go straight almost T-bone a car turning left from the other direction. I really liked the comment by Ruth because I honestly never really thought about the campground and Oliver Mill park and how many people enjoy that little stretch of land. Being a cyclist myself, road safety is always a huge concern. I personnally have never and probably would never cross 44 on my bike, but I do like to cycle down plymouth street to Oliver Mill and back home. It is a nice ride and great exercise.

Fiferstone..thank you for the information. I would encourage anyone interested in the safety of this road to review the proposed project and make your comments. It really is a good design...input from people who actually drive the road can only help the engineers make it better.

Gladys Kravitz said...

I'm so glad Ruth brought up the need to protect pedestrians. AND I believe Barbara Frappier mentioned the need to keep North Middleboro united with the Center. I've heard this for years. And it's true!

When I was kid I rode my bike across 44 from Old Center Street and across 44 again from Plymouth Street. Biking around beautiful North Middleboro and South Bridgewater is a rare treasure - and bikers should be protected.

And... if you spend any time at Oliver Mill in the camping seasons, you'll see people crossing over from KOA.

In fact, even on my way to the Mass. Highway meeting, I saw a jogger waiting for the lights to change so she could cross 44.

So many things to consider just for a two lane highway!

(Funny how only 3 months was enough to consider puttin the world's largest mega casino on the same road.)

carverchick said...

(Funny how only 3 months was enough to consider puttin the world's largest mega casino on the same road.)

How true Gladys!!

yet, we are called obstructionists. I really don't get it.

Anonymous said...

cc, I don't get it either. The bingo parlor isn't coming and that's all Mr. Bond knows. He'll have no mission when he finds out.

bratbird said...

Have they sold the air rights to the casino yet?

Anonymous said...

The big bucks investors agreed to pay for the road so let them pay. We need it safe now and this will make it better. Screw Mr Bond I want to feel safer with my kids in the car.

Smoking Owl said...

There is no denying the proposed improvements to Rt. 44 are needed and obvious to everyone except our very own Mr. Bond.
Apparently he's suffering from a severe Casino Kool-aid hangover which has rendered him incapable of logically considering any subject other than a casino resort development.

I'd like to mention one pet peeve considering the new and improved intersection of Rts. 28 and 105.
Has anyone noticed that when traveling southbound on Rt. 28 and you enter the right turn lane at the intersection by the Shell station, the green arrow light is totally obstructed from the driver's view by the telephone pole which is in front of the light? Such a fine obstructed view can be found nowhere else outside of Fenway Park. Also, when is our local police force going to begin citing drivers who, upon finding themselves mistakenly in the left turn lane, go straight through the light and continue to drive on the wrong side of the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic until the road turns to two lanes again?

jan said...

We feel so strongly about this, our letter went to the address fiferstone provided. The information and opinions provided by all is appreciated. Listening to the ideas and viewpoints of others is always helpful in reaching a better decision and hopefully the state will take those into consideration. As for Mr Bond? What more could we expect from a one trick pony?

ginny said...

smoking owl, I must agree with you when you wrote: Also, when is our local police force going to begin citing drivers..... It seems to me the last year that the officer worked who was responsible for the radar trap on route 44, he generated more than a million dollrs for the town. Never mind the money he generated, but the road had the reputation of a speed trap and drivers slowed down. Why don't we recreate that reputation and make the road safer?

woolly bear said...

smoking owl, regarding your comment "when is our local police force going to begin citing drivers," that's been my pet peeve.

We've watched our local cruisers sitting at lights and ignoring drivers who run red lights and stop signs and illegally park downtown.

Do they give out any tickets at all?