Ask Acton Forum

Do you have a question about something that is happening in Acton, or something that you heard may be happening? "Ask Acton Forum" will list your question and get as much factual information about it as we can find. We encourage readers to provide more.

Your question will be published anonymously unless you request that we include your name.

While the primary focus is on local issues, the rule is that there is no rule -- anything that may be of interest to Acton residents will be considered for publication.

We welcome your questions, your comments, and your input!

So if you have a question about something happening in town, please email us at charlie@actonforum.com. If you have a comment or addition to one of our posted answers, you can post responses directly just by signing up for a user name/password.

We hope you find this blog helpful, informative, and we invite your questions and comments.

Charlie Kadlec, for the Acton Forum editors

Comments

Traffic lights in Acton

Hi everyone, I'd like to ask why Acton doesn't have more traffic lights. I live in Acton and think Acton is a wonderful place. I do wonder why more intersections don't have traffic. Specifically Main Street at Woodbury Lane, Main Street at Hayward Road, Main Street at Brook Street, Great Road at Brook Street and Prospect at Main Street. The problem is most of the drivers who drive Acton roads aren't courteous and don't allow people to pull out from side street. I've been lucky that some have been nice and allowed me to go. The existing lights were probably fine back in their day but more traffic would move traffic a lot smoother and provide some civility if more traffic light existed. Not to mention all the exhaust that is put out from having to idle for long periods of time. Acton is a great place and I'd like to see it remain a great place.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my question.

Brian

CharlieAF

ActonForum reply

We agree that there are many intersections in Acton that are difficult to enter from the secondary streets, the ones that have a STOP sign. Adding traffic lights is not always desirable because stopping traffic on the major road can create more problems -- for example, many people objected to adding a traffic light at Main and Hayward when it was proposed a few years ago because it may have created traffic backups on the Route 2 ramp. Another problem is convincing the State Highway Dept of the need, since they control most of the major roads in Acton.

The town Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is the best source of information, see

http://ma-acton.civicplus.com/index.aspx?nid=110

Acton Forum has forwarded this question to TAC. You may want to contact them directly as well.

CharlieAF

More info on traffic lights

Traffic lights cost a LOT - roughly $100,000 for studies, equipment, installation, set-up. And they have ongoing operating costs. So even when they are sensible from a traffic management point of view, they may not make sense given other priorities for town money.

As far as I know, the Commonwealth controls 2, 2A, and 111 (not in West Acton), and that little bit of 62 in Acton. The rest is in our hands, including 27.

I have wondered about the pros & cons of changing the traffic pattern in Acton center to be a one-way oval. Interactions between Concord Road and Main Street are getting uglier as traffic keeps increasing. Maybe a low-key suburban-style rotary is a decent solution.

Jim Snyder-Grant is a member of Green Acton - more at http://greenacton.org. More about me at http://snyder-grant.org/jim. Or - just contact me at 978 266-9409 or jimsg@newview.org

Traffic Lights in Acton

Hi everyone, I'd like to ask why Acton doesn't have more traffic lights. I live in Acton and think Acton is a wonderful place. I do wonder why more intersections don't have traffic. Specifically Main Street at Woodbury Lane, Main Street at Hayward Road, Main Street at Brook Street, Great Road at Brook Street and Prospect at Main Street. The problem is most of the drivers who drive Acton roads aren't courteous and don't allow people to pull out from side street. I've been lucky that some have been nice and allowed me to go. The existing lights were probably fine back in their day but more traffic would move traffic a lot smoother and provide some civility if more traffic light existed. Not to mention all the exhaust that is put out from having to idle for long periods of time. Acton is a great place and I'd like to see it remain a great place.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my question.

Brian

ActonForum reply

We agree that there are many intersections in Acton that are difficult to enter from the secondary streets, the ones that have a STOP sign. Adding traffic lights is not always desirable because stopping traffic on the major road can create more problems -- for example, many people objected to adding a traffic light at Main and Hayward when it was proposed a few years ago because it may have created traffic backups on the Route 2 ramp. Another problem is convincing the State Highway Dept of the need, since they control most of the major roads in Acton.

The town Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is the best source of information, see

http://ma-acton.civicplus.com/index.aspx?nid=110

Acton Forum has forwarded this question to TAC. You may want to contact them directly as well.

CharlieAF