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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Observation

I understand why those that design traffic patterns do what they do: safety.  Safety is the primary concern.  Safety is the reason that when one is done pumping gas at the new Sturbridge Gas Station on Route 131 across from the shopping plaza one must turn right on 131 and head towards Southbridge, even though one may live on New Boston Road.

The road in front of the gas station is set up to allow through traffic, and turns in front of the plaza.  A raised, ridged concrete median is directly in front of the gas stations exit preventing left hand turns back towards town, and a sign at the exit states the same, no left turn.

It's all about the safety.

Now, where elements of safety are often installed, such as in front of the gas station, and those elements inconvenience folks by forcing them to go in the opposite direction from where they want to go, we all know what happens next:  people find a work-a-round.  Somewhere very soon after turning onto Route 131 that driver is going to find a place to turn around.  I did.  I turned into Shepard Road, and then headed back towards Route 20.

It was either turn there, or in one of the business driveways further down 131, and then flip around.

Needless to say, that was only a bit  inconvenient, but something I would not want to do on a regular basis.

I predict that there will be issues in the future along this stretch of 131 related to people wanting to head back towards the Common.

What to do?  Insist that people drive to Fiske Hill road, or Wallace Road and follow those roads in the other direction?

Well, we know that isn't going to happen.

I don't expect there will be a high volume of turn around traffic, but it is something to be aware of, and maybe some traffic flow folks can come up with a solution.

Observations lead to discussions, and discussions can lead to solutions.

I observed, experienced first hand, and now I'm passing the baton.


  1. Simple fix. Just go back out the way you went in. It allows for turns in either direction from the main entrance and the flow of traffic in the gas station is designed for it. Not such a big deal afterall. Certainly doesn't need a study by some traffic folks, just some common sense.

  2. You're right. Issue solved. That was a bit faster than usual. Thank you.


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