WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Planning Board is hoping EG America will consider contributing to traffic improvement efforts at the intersection of Flanders Road and East Main Street as they look to move forward with a plan to add upwards of 95 parking spaces to their nearby headquarters.
Plans to expand the parking lot of the former Cumberland Farms facility at 165 Flanders Rd. went before the Westborough Planning Board Nov. 16.
The Planning Board requires a site plan approval any time project adds six or more parking spaces, according to Town Planner Jim Robbins.
Euro Garage acquired Cumberland Farms in 2019 and now uses its former Westborough facility as its United States headquarters.
It’s open 24 hours a day, said Bohler Engineering’s Lucien DiStefano in a presentation on the parking lot expansion proposal.
“Due to increased staffing as a result of the Euro Garage acquisition as well as a return to the office place as we hopefully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a need for additional parking at that facility for a little while,” said DiStefano.
He said EG is trying to be proactive and construct the spaces, which would be located in the center of the 165 Flanders Rd. property.
DiStefano told the Planning Board that he wanted to check the exact number of parking spaces, saying they lost one parking spot.
“Worst case, it’s 96 new spots, and the best case, it’s 97,” DiStefano said.
There have been employees added since the acquisition. But DiStefano said the change hadn’t been significant.
Instead, he said, scheduling conflicts are causing problems as some shifts end and others start.
“Based on some of the new employees and the fact that there is a return to the office, they’re finding some daytime hours and even some early evening hours where they need the overflow parking,” DiStefano said.
Drivers are parking along the road into the site during some particularly busy hours, DiStefano said.
Planning Board Chair Mark Silverberg asked if the board should ask for traffic improvements in the area, specifically at Flanders Road and East Main Street. Analysis has said the intersection is failing, he said.
“With [Massachusetts General Hospital], we asked them for some mitigation towards a light at the end of Flanders Road,” Silverberg said. “That residential road is already overtaxed, and any additional traffic on that road, I think, merits some consideration by this board.”
Silverberg said the town is short on the funds needed for a light. So, he asked DiStefano if EG would be interested in a “minor contribution” to a solution.
DiStefano said he would have to run it by EG.
“I think the added traffic that’s going to be generated by an additional 97-spot parking lot is minimal and it doesn’t really have an impact on Flanders Road or the surrounding roadway system,” DiStefano said.