By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Grafton – The daily traffic overload at Route 140/Bridge Street/High Street was discussed by the Grafton Board of Selectmen with Police Chief Normand Crepeau at their regularly scheduled meeting May 19. The discussion led to an overview of the recommendations of the town Traffic Safety Committee.
It is not unusual for a motorist to have to wait through six or seven light changes before being able to get through the intersections at this point. Making the situation worse in the past was the use of High Street by some to try and bypass the worst of the vehicle snarl. Recently the town placed signs at the High Street/Route 140 intersection prohibiting turns toward the traffic lights from 4 to 6 p.m. However, motorists routinely ignore the prohibition and often drive at high speeds on the route.
Resident Wanda Hendricks addressed the selectmen on this issue, relating how frustrating it is for residents such as she to have to deal with this confusion every time they leave or return to their homes and questioned whether local residents could be permitted to ignore the turn prohibition signs to shorten their driving tips. Crepeau responded that there was no provision in state traffic laws that would permit this. Hendricks reiterated that some people race through this intersection at speeds up to 60-70 miles per hour, creating an additional hazard.
The board then discussed increasing the turn prohibition to 4 to 7 p.m. but did not make a decision to do so. After more discussion, it was agreed that there is simply too much traffic at this intersection at peak commuting hours in the morning and evening, for which there is no clear solution.
In related business, the board accepted the recommendation to remove three parking spaces near the Baptist Church at Grafton Commons to improve traffic flow. They also accepted the recommendation to place a “blind child” sign at 33 Church St., and to place a “slow – children” sign on Maplewood Avenue with an associated 20 MPH advisory sign. Finally, Town Administrator Timothy P. McInerney informed the board that the traffic control trailer had been completed and equipped with materials for use by Department of Public Works.