, Newburyport, MA


December 4, 2013

Our view: State makes traffic nightmare along Route 128


The sweeping, white-knuckle left turn isn’t the only problem. The entire area is still a poorly signed, poorly spaced morass of traffic lights and turns. Drivers often don’t know what is legal and what isn’t. Yes, it is easier to exit from and merge onto Route 128. However, the state needs to do better than move the problem off the highway and onto the side streets of Danvers.

The state Department of Transportation held what it calls a “road safety audit” last month, which included a visit to the ramps and a meeting with town officials.

“Certainly, there was evidence to suggest there was an increased rate of accidents after people learned the new geometry,” Town Manager Wayne Marquis said, adding “There is an opportunity to improve what is there.”

MassDOT officials say they are putting together a report on the issue, a process that will take at least a month.

Then, said spokesman Michael Verseckes, the agency will “explore ways to expedite the implementation of any improvements.”

Here’s hoping MassDOT takes the issue seriously. Commuters from all across the North Shore certainly do. And for $23 million, taxpayers deserve better.

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