Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Mr. Suhoski, Welcome To Sturbridge. Tag, You're It.

After I wrote the posting about the intersection of Haynes and Main Street I  forwarded the posting to Selectman Tom Creamer with an "FYI". Sometime later that day Tom forwarded an email to me he had received from Shaun Suhoski, and Greg Morse:

Message Mon, Aug 09, 2010 3:08 PM

From: Shaun Suhoski
Greg Morse
To: Tom Creamer
Cc: Greg Morse

Subject: Haynes Street intersection width

See the background from Greg below on the width concern you forwarded earlier. I'll share the background with the entire Board as they may also receive questions.
Please consider the environment before  printing this email.
---- Original Message -----

You have a limited Right of Way width that the State owns and you introduced twelve feet of sidewalk where there was once eight or less and that is where the conflict begins. This coupled with a sewer line air release chamber (in ground) and a existing traffic signal make the widening of the intersection difficult and extremely expensive. The Town may well need to adjust trailer truck traffic patterns on Haynes Street if safety/pedestrian concerns dictate the change. This project is approaching $800,000 dollars to 1,000,000 dollars over cost as is, without changing sewer lines (high point) and traffic light signal poles. If you were to address all design problems/issues you would need to take the abutting home by eminent domain to correct the opposing turning issues. There was a public meeting for plan review prior to the work going out to bid. Complaints could have been brought  to Town or MADOT at that time. Please note the project has been on the transporation T.I.P. for many years prior to bid making for a tight budget.


Well, now we're getting somewhere. The road IS more narrow because of the sidewalks on both sides of the road, a sewer line air release chamber, and an existing traffic light. It would be "difficult and extremely expensive" to fix.

Looks like where we are today was known way back when the plans were first out.  Why was it allowed to progress, and not be corrected back then?

Greg also makes note of the public meeting prior to the work going out to bid, and that complaints could have have been made to the Town, or MADOT then.  I'm not a civil engineer. I would have no clue what the blueprints showed, or how that information would affect me. That is why we have experts in the towns employ that have the education, and experience to look at a plan and see that it was going to be four feet more narrow than it was before.  Obviously it was know back then, but for some reason the experts felt that it wouldn't be an issue.


How did the experts think emergency vehicles, school buses, RV's and trucks were ever going to access that road? It is very obvious that the experts missed  the boat.  Since the experts were aware of the road narrowing back when the plans were first being discussed, and chose not to address it then this sounds to be a bit more than just "missing the boat". They did not correct what is now a major mistake, and is going to cost even more money for the town to correct.

The house on the corner, I believe, is part of the National Register Historic Places, and the Historic District, and cannot be taken, or torn down.  So, that leaves moving the sewer, the traffic light, and taking a piece of the Center School front yard in order to fix the problem.

Or, we can ignore it, and just put up a sign prohibiting RV's, School buses,and trucks from going down Haynes Street from Main Street, and vice versa. We also need to tell the residents, and business owners down there that emergency vehicles may be a bit delayed in getting to them as well.

Bottom line is that a fix is needed. It will cost money. Best time to do it is now while everything is torn up, and the equipment is here, and accept the fact that we will be paying for it for awhile.


  1. Isn't this the perfect excuse why Haynes Road, aka, Old Route 15, can't be developed. The Road is unsafe for emergency vehicles and tractor trailers.

  2. Is this a way to PREVENT Haynes Street/Old Route 15 from being developed???? Why wasn't this made CLEAR to the public before bottling up the intersection even more, with sidewalks on both sides of Haynes Street itself? Was there a hidden agenda? I would like to think not, but have been leery right along. For some reason most progress in that area has been a "no-no," (other than the sports center and its sport store which some locals are seemingly planning to invest in). And the surveys which had to include names and addresses were a turn-off for people who have been for years made to feel that if they didn't "go along to get along' they would be singled out as a hindrance "denigrating" those who were following "the plan," whatever the plan was at the time. How could we all have been expected to understand what was going on here? I think many of our people on committees are honest, but some others may have lead them astray. As far as our quaint, pretty little town is concerned, remember you can't judge a book by it's cover...
    The pages in this book are definitely out of order.

  3. Are there minutes for this public meeting, to see when and what discussion took place on this specific issue?

  4. What the _( you fill in the blank)?Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Shouldn't an issue this big, even if there was mention or discussion of it at a public meeting at some long ago date, have been clearly publicized in print? We can't all go to every meeting, and we have not all been able to see and/or decipher what was going on at every meeting that may or may not have been televised in poor quality. And all along we thought we could someday get more meaningful tax revenues from old Route 15. What a mess! Who'd a thunk it?

  5. Better read Greg Morse's comments again, Nel. He explains in detail what the issues were and continue to be; he doesn't say that people wanted to prevent development of Rte 15.

    How about we stop with the innuendo and seek real answers?

  6. This mess has little to do with stopping growth on route 15, although unless addressed it will definitely play a role in it. I don't think that anyone locally would be able to perceive the impact to the area today by ignoring, or not addressing a bad design a few years ago. It may be convenient to blame folks for sabotaging the Route 15 development, but that storyline would be from a "B Movie", not real life. This is all about a bad design that has come back to haunt us, and unless fixed now will affect how this town is perceived, grows, and functions. We will be on Youtube more than we like as folks line up to video the vehicle fails at the intersection. It needs to be addressed now while all the other construction is happening in order to save some of the hundreds of thousands this will take to fix.

  7. Who saw the plans first? Who is responsible for reviewing them? If it is Greg Morse, then Rte 15 has always been a thorn in his side. He hates the thought of development there which is why he is fighting sewer there. Was this an addition to his arsenal??????

  8. Time to think quickTuesday, August 10, 2010

    Take a good look at the Haynes Street intersection, and at the sidewalks along both streets in that area. Perhaps you could watch the traffic there from the library lawn. Now imagine that there is a foot of snow on the ground with freezing rain falling on top of that and coating the road - and school let out early. Oh, wait, what's that guy thinking trying to make a turn there? We have to do something to FIX this before it happens.

  9. Accidents Waiting To HappenTuesday, August 10, 2010

    A police vehicle coming from the station to Haynes Street in a hurry would be hard pressed to negotiate the turn at even a reasonable speed. A large vehice will actually take out a smaller vehicle sitting there at the lights. No joke, just geometry. I suggest that people with a video phone, or camera stand at the corner, and video vehicles making turns in both directions, and into Haynes St., and onto Main St. then posting them here. Even better put them on Youtube. Let the world see how well we think things out in advance.

  10. You can be sure that if the residents of town were aware of just how narrow this road was going to be they would have said something back at the meetings. why didn't the Town Administrator or DPW people, or other people say something? Look at the mess we have now!!! The house on the corner cannot be removed, or taken by eminent domain because it is historic so it looks like the road will need to be widened, and the land on the center school side will have to be rebuilt.

  11. Who approved the plans?

  12. I hope our tax money didn't all go for fine wrappings and fluff.


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