STATEMENT REGARDING SUFFOLK DOWNS TRAFFIC PLANS
REVERE–We are three weeks out from the community meeting at Revere High School where Chip Tuttle, Chief Operating Officer of Suffolk Downs, promised a follow-on community meeting to discuss traffic issues. As we saw during the June 13 meeting, the voters of Revere want to know more concerning how Suffolk Downs plans to mitigate the already atrocious traffic afflicting our city. The current plan put forth by Suffolk Downs seems to move Route 1A commuter traffic north towards Revere and they have quietly avoided any discussion of improvements to Bell Circle.
In the Route 1A plans, a flyover for northbound traffic at Boardman St. would appear to fix longstanding afternoon backups, however the plans also call for the addition of 2 more traffic signals a short distance north, first at Waldemar Ave. and again at the entrance to Suffolk Downs. The existing jug handle would remain – meaning a net increase of 1 traffic light heading north. Heading south we fare no better. The light again would remain at the jug handle, with an added light at the Suffolk Downs entrance to allow for traffic leaving the facility, and the same Boardman St. light that exists today.
Their website mentions studies and plans for “several other local intersections that will help ease congestion,” but the plans are not presented and will be left for host community discussions. Thus far, the voters of Revere have not been party to those discussions.
Suffolk Downs suggests in their plan that only 20% of the traffic to the site will flow from the north. With a casino proposed for Taunton and potentially one in Western Massachusetts, this number becomes highly questionable. To Revere residents, we ask: When was the last time you spent a hot summer’s day at Nantasket Beach? When was the last time you got a bite to eat on the South Shore? Or saw a show there? Chances are it was quite a while ago. The age old dividing line between the north shore and the south shore is alive and well in Massachusetts and we firmly believe this will hold true with casino traffic. All major thoroughfares that currently exist in Revere are antiquated. They must be improved before we see a casino at Suffolk Downs.
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