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 13, 2013

And, What About The Cost?

I was sent the following link about highway roundabouts yesterday.

Again, some good information, yet the question remains, why?

Why, in our town would a roundabout serve the traffic better than the current traffic light at Route 20 and Route 148 does now?  How would a roundabout be better at New Boston Road, and Route 20?

Both areas are completely different.  New Boston Road currently has no traffic controls in place, but does have the land surrounding it to put in some form of control such as lights, or a roundabout.  Most importantly it needs a traffic control.

Rout 148 and Route 20 already have traffic lights in place.  Widening of the intersection to accommodate turning traffic, at each road would be very helpful. A roundabout here?  Tell me why it would be better, and the fix less expensive than what I have mentioned.

No sarcasm here, just a true desire to learn, and know why.

Route 20, and Route 148 also have limited land at the site.  The former fire station that houses the dance studio would find it self on the endangered species list, as would any store planning going in near the mill.

When I ask why, I would truly like an honest, well thought out answer backed up by traffic control engineering science that states that in our particular case it would be ideal. Not an answer that remotely says, "It'll improve traffic flow".

A monkey with a red flag at New Boston Road would improve traffic flow.


  1. Wally

    Everyone who lives here on New Boston Road just wants a light. Thats all we need and one that is set only when people are at the bottom of New Boston Road trying to cross. So it wont slow up the traffic flow when its not needed.

    You know why American Motor Lodge is not doing anything. He is waiting for the big score of the Town to buy this land for the roundabouts. Same with the other side of town that is why the guy with Blackington is in favor.

    To do these roundabouts this is going to cost millions and for what. And people think now its congested wait till they start tearing and doing all this construction.

    Now you see why CVS was given a hard time their site is key to this new dream. That land will have to be factored in the roundabouts. Walk around there your talking 4 to 5 connections that roundabout is going to serve.

    Then you forgot what statue or monument will be in the middle of these roundabouts. Who will be the selected person and how much to construct that too. Is this the Town of Sturbridge or the Republic of Sturbridge.

  2. I just wanted to say that "A monkey with a red flag at New Boston Road would improve traffic flow" put a huge smile on my face this morning, thanks :).

  3. LOL!
    Good job, Wally.
    I vote for a few monkeys for the Sturbridge zoo - one with a red flag for traffic control, and a few to replace a few board and committee members. The hyenas have been lurking around for awhile now, as they know where the best laughing spots are and have them programmed into their GPS's.

  4. "What about the costs?", you ask. Here's what always seems to happen. We hear of grants, state fundings, and other monies that may come to help us - and then the "we need this and we need that" people show up after they've already talked folks into things and gotten the "foot in the door vote." We hear, "Well, this was spoken of at a public meeting." We hear,"Well, we've spent so much money already preparing for this that it would be just awful to think we spent that money for nothing."

    If your kid(s) got a one year scholarship to Harvard, how many of you would be able to foot the bill for the remaining years???

    Remember the CPA surtax on your property taxes? They were to be supplemented with money from the state. What did "we" do? "We" (not I) bought right into it. Our CPC along with "our" approval spent huge money that we had yet to collect from our own taxes, and from the state's supplement. The state has hugely lowered the amounts it supplements, year by year. So we are left with a big, big bill for a very long time to come.

    "We" need to not buy into this stuff. This latest Route 20 stuff will do nothing for us. Some of the businesses are looking for dollars for face lifts. Let them pay for their own face lifts.

  5. Wally

    You missed one other question that needs to be asked.

    What is the increase of tax rate that everyone is going to get hit because of this.

    Everyone should demand the Town Administrator and FinCom to come clean with this.

    Our town is great they always put the vote to the people without no figures.

    In business or in your home life you do a project and you have a estimate, budget or some good idea of what your going to spend or finance.

    When the experts come lets put this question to them "what is the cost" and "what is the increase in taxes". And make sure they don't start the double talking.

    We lost CVS because of this dream.

  6. Oh dont you worry bout the cost, it will make the town a better place for all of us.

  7. Look on the Bright Side!Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Yeah, don't worry. If you run out of money someone might bring you a can of soup, and call you a free-loader, but the soup should carry you over for another day to get your plans ready to get yourself to another town. So, what's the problem?

  8. Richard In the RoundaboutTuesday, August 20, 2013


    Play this and you will get a laugh on the roundabouts. This will be typical in Sturbridge.

  9. Looking at the web page on round-abouts as that page is calling them, they are slightly different from a traffic circle (or rotary if you are a native). Is there actually an indication that Sturbridge will build a round-about instead of a traffic circle?

    The round-about in the "Keeping Up Appearances" video is just a traffic circle by its British name. It is not the kind of round-about shown on the web page.

  10. Yes, there are plans that include 2 roundabouts for Sturbridge - one at routes 148 and 20 and another at routes 20 and 131. There will be a public meeting on Sept.25 at 6:30 PM at the town hall regarding these plans. Please think about attending and don't be manipulated into only giving what they call "positive" comments, unless, of course, you completely agree with everything presented - and please ask questions.


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