Driving on Market Street is aggravating enough without some unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, traffic obstacles, say readers in Brighton.
Richard Sullivan told GlobeWatch that Surrey Street was recently changed from a one-way to two-way street. The alteration coincided with the opening of a parking lot for the TD Bank branch at the corner of Surrey and Market streets.
“Most drivers turning into Surrey Street will be surprised to see a car coming at them out of what was always a one-way street,’’ Sullivan wrote in an e-mail. “We all know what it is like trying to make a left turn anywhere in Brighton. Was there any notice given to anyone about this traffic change? This has the potential for catastrophe!’’
Two blocks away, Marsha Wiggins asserted, constant backups on Market Street are made worse by the odd timing of traffic signals at the intersection of Sparhawk and Arlington streets, adjacent to St. Columbkille Church. Drivers on Market Street get far less time to cross through the intersection than those on the side streets.
“The biggest problem, however, is that Market Street is far more heavily traveled than Sparhawk Street, which crosses it, yet Sparhawk has a much longer green light,’’ Wiggins wrote. “On two recent occasions, I’ve sat through five cycles of lights to get past the church, from Brighton Center, all while watching and seeing no traffic flowing on Sparhawk, across Market. It just seems totally unnecessary and inefficient. It seems to me the green light on Market - especially the one heading north - should be lengthened, and the Sparhawk one should be shortened.’’
On two visits last week, a Globe reporter saw no vehicles trying to turn from Surrey Street onto Market but did note that with the constant stream of cars heading toward Brighton Center backed up past Surrey Street, merging would be difficult and disruptive. And as Wiggins stated, drivers on Market Street frequently stacked up for a block or two waiting for a lengthy red light to finally turn green.
The city responds:
The first block of Surrey Street was made two way over the summer for a couple of reasons, said Tracey Ganiatsos, a spokeswoman for the Boston Transportation Department.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Thomas J. Tinlin
Boston Transportation Department
1 City Hall Square Room 721
Boston MA 02201-2026
“First, to support the opening of the new TD [Bank], this portion of Surrey Street was changed so that traffic volumes could be handled at two separate driveway locations,’’ she wrote in an e-mail. “This would allow traffic volumes to be split and would lessen the impact on Market Street. Second, changing Surrey Street would result in preventing customers from cutting through the neighborhood using residential streets. Due to the low number of vehicles exiting the bank, particularly at nonpeak hours, it was decided that it would be acceptable for these vehicles to turn onto Market Street.’’
As for the traffic signals at Market and Sparhawk, Ganiatsos wrote, “after inspecting the location, BTD has added five seconds of green time per light cycle for Market Street drivers. In addition, plans are underway to install a traffic camera at the intersection of Arlington Street, Market Street, and Sparhawk Street which will allow the department to keep a close eye on the intersection and to make remote changes to the signal timings as necessary from BTD’s Traffic Management Center at City Hall.’’
GlobeWatch appears every other Monday. Readers with problems they would like addressed can send emails to email@example.com.