In a letter to the editor, published in two local newspapers recently, my position about the Finnerty’s Village plan for a "curb cut" on Main Street was mischaracterized. Allow me to set the record straight.
As fire chief in Wayland, my position is based solely on my responsibility to maintain a safe and efficient response from the fire stations for the benefit of the public we serve and the safety of the responding firefighters. It is also important to bring the trucks safely back to the fire station after the emergency is over.
It is clear to me that the original proposal of an unrestricted entrance and exit to the Finnerty’s Village development on Main Street will adversely impact the movement of the Fire Department trucks and crews both in response mode and when they return to quarters. I am especially concerned that northbound traffic waiting to turn left into the development will clog the area in front of the fire station. I have made my concerns known to the Wayland Planning Department.
A second curb cut proposal has been floated that would allow exactly two traffic movements: Traveling south on Main Street, a right turn into the property, and exiting from the property, only a right turn onto Main Street heading south would be allowed. This traffic pattern, if enforced, would clearly lessen the adverse impact on our emergency responses to a considerable degree. I would feel comfortable with this more recent plan if I could be assured by the traffic experts that my conclusion is correct and if some form of physical structures enforced the limited vehicle movements. I don't believe that signage alone will make all drivers do the right thing. The more recent plan with limited vehicle movements is not my first choice, but with the proper assurances from the experts, conscientious planning and careful implementation, the Wayland Fire Department could live with it.
I would like to assure the Wayland community that as the plans for Finnerty's Village evolve, decisions that I am involved with will reflect my concern for the safety of the community as a whole and the effective, safe and efficient operation of the Wayland Fire Department. I look forward to the continuing discussion.
Vincent J. Smith, Fire Chief
Wayland Fire Department