Friday, July 30, 1999
To dismay of selectmen, Route 3 bill closer to passage
On July 23, Carlisle State Senator Susan Fargo and her colleagues on the joint committee on transportation were pleased to announce that they had approved a transportation bond bill, paving the way for a "wider, more accessible, and less stagnant" Route 3. However, that news will not be well received by Carlisle officials.
The focus of the road improvement project will be on both northbound and southbound lanes from the Route 128 interchange all the way to the New Hampshire border. The bill, supported by several legislators as well as Governor Paul Cellucci, is expected to easily pass both legislative branches, according to Fargo.
In telephone a interview, selectman Vivan Chaput was dismayed, "We're concerned about the impact on the town." She said the board of selectmen had sent letters of concern to state officials stating that in the short-term, they are worried about the traffic impact on Carlisle as cars shift their routes to avoid the construction. As for the future, they are worried about the growth pressures which will accompany the expansion. As she said, "Build it and they will come."
Alternatively, Chaput said that the Carlisle Selectmen, the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Cooperation (MAGIC) and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)have all recomended that local businesses and towns work to reduce the volume at peak times rather than increase the capacity of the road. Park and drive lots, shutttles and carpooling are all possible alternatives.
"I co-sponsored the Route 3 widening bill because it is a necessity for all communities along the corridor," said Fargo. "Businesses, commuters and communities as a whole have been adversely impacted for far too long by the traffic and congestion which plagues the road."
Although some language of the bill was modified from its original format, most notably the removal of a Project Labor Agreement, plans to improve the overburdened route are rapidly moving forward.
Fargo added that she is going to closely monitor the bill as it proceeds through the legislature. Of particular interest to Fargo is the inclusion of a provision in the law which will enable communities impacted by the expansion to have a voice as the design and construction of the project moves forward.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito