CANAL DISTRICT TRAFFIC PATTERNS AND MISSING STREET LIGHTS

By Rosalie Tirella

1. In Worcester’s Canal District: I was driving through the PEANUT – the big trucks and 18 wheelers are a disaster! All the gritty, personal charm of the late great Kelley Square is gone. Now we’ve got the impersonal, speedway dubbed THE PEANUT. It blows!!

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The Peanut. photos: R.T.

To me, the old Kelley Square felt safer to navigate: it was more personal and you had to slow down more often as you MADE EYE CONTACT WITH pedestrians or fellow drivers.

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Ugh!

And the new, reversed, flipped, reconfigured street directions of the Canal District MAKE NO SENSE! The new one-ways were solely created to feed traffic to the freakin’ ballpark – nothing more. Forget the Green Island residents! They do not matter! Even local small businesses take a hit. When I was a kid growing up in Green Island, the traffic pattern made sense – it was set up (for years) to accommodate Green Islanders and local small businesses … designed to feed Green Island cars into Millbury Street for work, shopping and school. And Millbury Street emptied into Kelley Square for more shopping and to connect to I 290. Now? Chaos!

2. And what disrespect, courtesy of CM Ed Agustus and crew! The newly manufactured ballpark street – whatever its name is – gets A TON OF FANCY NEW STREET LIGHTS and, parallel to it, my beloved old Lamartine Street has around three old street lights.

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New, ultra-illuminated ballpark street to the left; dark Lamartine Street to the right.

Lamartine – the thoroughfare that does all the work, connects to Grosvenor, Lodi, Lunel, Langdon, Scott and Meade streets and the rest of Green Island (Lafayette, Bigelow and Endicott streets and more), in other words, ALL THE GREEN ISLAND RESIDENTS is hardly illuminated! Very unsafe! Just a few crumby old street lights light up Lamartine – the ones from my Lafayette Street childhood. Yet Lamartine is the street that actually does all the work! It’s the street that’s actually used by drivers! The street that has workaday traffic year ’round. Outside the ball games, the new, ultra-lit ballpark street (to the left in my night photo) gets very little traffic! See the car, to the right, on Lamartine? And the one street light lighting its way? Pathetic.