Redesign of Main Street encounters some gridlock
Southborough – Plans for the redesign of Main Street didn't hit a roadblock at the Feb. 12 Board of Selectmen's meeting, but they did get rerouted a little.
The project, which is expected to cost about $3.5 million and be paid for by MassHighway, would alter the road from Park Street on the east side of town to Sears Road on the west side of town.
A number of intersections would be reworked, not the least of which would be where Main Street (Route 30) intersects Route 85.
The meeting suffered through a prolonged period of verbal gridlock over the entire project, and one issue that was discussed was whether on-street parking should be allowed for a pair of local businesses – the Morris Funeral Home and the Stone Health Center – which are adjacent to the Route 30/ Route 85 intersection.
While the owners of the two businesses would like to see on-street parking for their customers, Department of Public Works Director Karen Galligan said that doing so would, in all likelihood, mean that a historic stone wall on the Town Common across the street would have to be relocated.
Selectman Bill Boland said he'd like to see the town come up with a solution that would benefit the businesses.
"I think we need to make changes that would help the businesses," Boland said. "I love the Common, but it has changed over the years and I think now we need to change with it."
A group of local residents who live on Main Street on the east side of Route 85 disagreed with Boland. They would like to see parking on that part of the road eliminated and a row of trees in its place.
Fire Chief John Mauro and Police Chief William Webber said on-road parking could create access problems for emergency vehicles.
David Parry, a former selectman in town who lives on Main Street, thought a mixture of parking and green space might work.
Another issue discussed was the intersection of Main and Park streets. The board was worried the area was too narrow for delivery trucks to have easy access going to and coming from Mauro's Market.
Galligan off ered to delay her submission of the proposal to MassHighway, so that more discussion could take place. Board of Selectmen Chair Bonnie Phaneuf asked Galligan to present a revised plan to the board at its Tuesday March 25 meeting.
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