Dear Will – it was nice getting to meet you at Town Day – also great to get a chance to discuss the library.
Unfortunately, I’m writing on another topic — like many Belmonters, I commute out to 128 on a daily basis. In my case I head North in the morning and south in the evening. Thus, the ecology of 128 is “with me” — traffic going north is typically light in the morning and subsequently light in the evening. I apologize in advance to any of the Belmonters who go south — our end of 128 is always a nightmare south in the morning and north in the evening.
So, as a Northbound commuter, I am blessed, with the exception of the Rt2 Merge.
Here’s the issue:
Commuters going 128S sit waiting for access in the right hand lane of Rt 2W, often blocking the left two lanes of Rt 2W for as much as a mile. In addition, Hayden Ave feeds in just before the exit to 128N.
On a typical day, commuters going north resolve this problem by driving in the breakdown lane from Hayden Ave to the exit. This seems to work quite well, until the MA state Police show up. Rather than doing the obvious, logical, thing (encouraging people to use this brief section of the breakdown lane), they, instead block the lane and issue tickets to anyone attempting to use the lane for this purpose. The result is to increase the backup on Rt 2 and additional mile and create unsafe road conditions for those approaching the intersection.
How do we resolve issues like this?
I would welcome the views of a professional traffic engineer on this topic.
It would seem that a temporary adjustment of the road-use laws, similar to those in front of the middle school (which change the direction of the road during certain times of the day) and that of the southern portion of 128 (where breakdown lane usage is authorized to ease the commute) would be warranted here to allow northbound commuters to utilize the breakdown lane from Hayden Ave to the 128N exit.