There’s a change coming to the morning traffic options from West Plain Street to Main Street in Cochituate.
Wayland Police Chief Bob Irving met with the Board of Selectmen last week to propose installing a “Do Not Enter” sign restricting access to Mitchell Street from West Plain street on weekdays between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
“Residents in the Mitchell Street/King Street area, the concerns that they had were a lot of cut-through traffic and speeding cars, which we get those many places.” Irving said, speculating that the cars turn down Mitchell Street to avoid the traffic light at the Main and West Plain streets intersection on the way to Wayland Middle School. “What we try to do is look at it and come up with the least impact decision that could improve the situation. Then we come back and review it and see how it works.”
Irving said that police traffic counts found that there is a “cut-through problem” at Mitchell Street, but that it is restricted to “very limited hours.”
“The week that we did it – [September] 23rd-29th, there was one non-school day, a holiday, and the numbers dropped way down on that day,” Irving said. ”That makes me very confident that this is a weekday, school day issue.”
Selectmen Joe Nolan said he understood the concerns of the neighborhood residents, and ultimately joined his fellow selectmen who unanimously supported the new signage, but he also said he recognized that Mitchell is a public street.
“From 6 [a.m.]-9 [a.m.] seems like a bigger period than might be necessary,” Nolan said. “I’m sympathetic to the neighbors that live there … but I don’t know if there’s any thought to making it an hour less. I think it’s primarily a middle school problem.”
Irving explained that making the period longer than exactly necessary made enforcement easier as it alleviated issues such as drivers claiming their clocks were slow or fast by 10 minutes.
Selectmen approved the measure and Irving agreed to report on the success of the new traffic flow in about six months.
Editor's Note: Wayland Patch could not physically attend the meeting, but created this article after viewing the WayCam video of the Nov. 5 Board of Selectmen meeting.