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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Traffic plans divide officials

By DEREK EDRY
Staff Writer

The Hudson Board of Selectmen deliberated for more than two hours over six traffic improvement projects presented by the Planning Board last Tuesday, eventually approving three.

The conversation, which often turned fiery, was propelled by a mutual sense of frustration between both the board and Town Planner John Cashell about traffic problems which stem from Lowell Road and Route 111. ...

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The Hudson Board of Selectmen deliberated for more than two hours over six traffic improvement projects presented by the Planning Board last Tuesday, eventually approving three.

The conversation, which often turned fiery, was propelled by a mutual sense of frustration between both the board and Town Planner John Cashell about traffic problems which stem from Lowell Road and Route 111.

Cashell's original proposal, which was to use $100,000 of an available $1.5 million in Cost Allocation Procedure funds to conduct Highway Safety Committee studies of all six road proposals, was met with heavy scrutiny from both Chairman Thaddeus Luszey and Selectman Roger Coutu.

"You've studied this to death," Coutu said.

The Hudson Community Technical Assistance Program last completed a traffic study in 2009.

The Board voted to split the projects into individual items and to vote on them separately. They approved three measures: the relocation of a utility pole at the intersection of Birch Street and Lowell Road, the addition of a traffic signal at the intersection of Pelham Road and Lowell Road, and the installation of cameras at legs of the multiple road intersection that connects Ferry, Central, Library and Highland streets.

The board did not approve Cashell's main recommendation, a corridor study of Lowell Road from the Sagamore Bridge Road to Central Street, the town's most congested section of roadway - though they discussed ways to address the congestion in depth.

Coutu suggested expanding Lowell Road to two lanes on each side.

"I think a lot of properties would go extinct if we expanded Lowell Road," countered Luszey.

Yet, Cashell insisted that nothing could be done to address the roads traffic problems without a study.

"A study is necessary," Selectmen Marilyn McGrath said. "If we don't conduct a study, we might as well be hamsters spinning our wheels."

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-6589, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.