West

Judge grants temporary reprieve at Wayland intersection

The no left turn sign at the intersection of Glezen Lane and Old Sudbury Road (Rte. 27).

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The no left turn sign at the intersection of Glezen Lane and Old Sudbury Road (Rte. 27).

A Middlesex Superior Court judge has ruled that the town of Wayland may lift the turning restrictions at Route 27 and Glezen Lane — for a little while, at least.

The decision marks the latest chapter in a contentious debate about the intersection, where turning has been restricted during certain hours, much to the dismay of many residents in the neighborhood.

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Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kimberly S. Budd issued a decision on Aug. 26 granting the town temporary relief from the restrictions for up to 180 days so it can conduct a traffic study.

How the town proceeds now remains to be seen. “We received this [court decision] yesterday and haven’t had a chance to discuss it,” said Town Administrator Nan Balmer, in an e-mail Tuesday.

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As of midweek, drivers on Glezen Lane still weren’t allowed to turn left onto Old Sudbury Road (Route 27) between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Likewise, no one on Route 27 could turn right onto Glezen Lane during those times.

Those restrictions came about after 13 residents took the town and Wayland Town Center’s developer to court over concerns about traffic. In July 2008 a settlement agreement was reached and the town promised to implement a series of traffic mitigation measures on Glezen Lane, and take additional actions if traffic increased.

That agreement resulted in the installation of speed bumps and signs on Glezen Lane, as well as the infamous turning restrictions. Under the terms of the agreement, the town was also supposed to construct a permanent barrier with curbing that would prevent cars on Glezen Lane from turning left onto Route 27.

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That plan, however, has been met with resistance: Residents didn’t want to pay for it at Town Meeting, and the fire chief said if the intersection is reconstructed, fire apparatus will no longer be able to safely turn right onto Glezen Lane from Route 27, which would slow down response times. (David Bernstein, who lives on Glezen Lane and was one of the 13 residents who filed the original lawsuit, said he disagrees with that argument. “The intersection would be explicitly designed to enable fire trucks to traverse it without stopping,” he said.)

In April, the town filed a motion in Middlesex Superior Court to suspend the terms of the 2008 agreement so the town could lift the turning restrictions and conduct a new traffic study.

In June, two more residents of Glezen Lane — Eleanor and Wildon Farwell — got involved in the legal battle and their attorney, John B. Harkavy, filed a motion to intervene in the case. The Farwells live close to the intersection and don’t want a curbed barrier built.

Budd’s decision Aug. 26 allowed the Farwells’ motion to intervene and granted the town temporary relief from the restrictions.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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