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Dracut’s Dangerous Intersections Are ‘Like Playing Chicken’

Jan 23, 2019 05:14AM ● By Lisa Redmond

 DRACUT – “It’s like playing chicken.’’

That’s how Selectperson Tami Dristiliaris described the intersections of Bridge and Pleasant streets and Lakeview Avenue and Bridge Street. “These are dangerous intersections for turns,’’ she said.

The none of the traffic lights at these intersections are equipped with a left-turn arrow, so drivers take their chances taking turning into oncoming traffic.

“I see near misses every day,’’ Dristriliaris said at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday.

Town Manager Jim Duggan explained that both sets of traffic lights at these intersections are “antiquated,’’ but they are also owned by the state Department of Transportation. The town has been communicating with the DOT to try to resolve the issue.

Duggan added that the town’s transportation needs to be looked at on a “larger scale.’’ The town’s transportation master plan was done in 1999, 20 years ago and a lot has changed in two decades, he said.

But funding a transportation master plan is not cheap. Duggan estimated it would cost “six figures.’’ The selectmen asked if he could reach out to the town’s legislative delegation to see if funding is available.

The School Committee at its meeting this week also had a discussion about traffic, but their focus was on vehicles idling on school grounds.

In doing its part to support the town’s efforts to be a Green Community, the School Committee has put limits on vehicles idling near the schools.

School Superintendent Steven Stone explained the no idling policy is directed at delivery trucks that can be idling for 30 minutes spewing diesel fumes near the schools.

Stone noted that parents who are waiting to drop off or pick up their children in the cold weather can idle their cars to keep the heat on.


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