The Traffic Commission voted not to extend the 60-day trial switching the one-way directions of Sigourney Street and Derby Road at its Wednesday, Oct. 20 meeting.
The commission took the action at its August meeting after residents of the two roads between Malden Street and Squire Road petitioned for relief from the heavy traffic from vehicles that use the streets as a cut-through to and from Squire Road and the Market Basket Plaza. The move then set off a ripple effect on surrounding streets off of Squire Road that sent increased traffic onto those roads, causing those residents to seek relief from the Traffic Commission and the City Council.
Last week, the City Council approved a request from the Traffic Commission to fund a traffic study of the streets bounded by Washington Avenue and Broadway and Malden Street and Squire Road to determine a mitigation plan for traffic in the neighborhood to address the number of vehicles, as well as noise, trash and other disturbances.
In September, residents of a number of the streets near Sigourney and Derby asked the Traffic Commission to end the trial period and take a holistic approach to solving traffic issues in that area of the city.
The trial period converted Derby into a one-way road from Grover into Squire, preventing traffic from making a right turn from Squire onto Derby. It also converted Sigourney into a one-way street from Grover to Malden, preventing traffic from turning from Malden onto Sigourney to get to Squire.
At last week’s meeting, a number of residents from Sigourney and Derby urged the Traffic Commission to keep the new traffic patterns in place until the traffic study is completed and recommendations are made. “Our lives have been so much better for the last 60 days,” said Sigourney Street resident Joann Giannino; however, she added that she felt badly for the people on Charger Street who were affected negatively by the change in traffic patterns.
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino, who was unable to attend the Traffic Commission meeting, sent a letter suggesting the commission maintain the one-way pattern for Derby Road while changing Sigourney back to the original pattern. He also suggested the traffic study get underway as soon as possible, since a new Popeye’s drive-through restaurant slated to open at the corner of Squire and Derby will only increase traffic in the area.
Gennaro Cataldo of Augustus Street presented a petition from residents of the surrounding side streets who wanted to end the 60-day trial. “Two streets [Sigourney and Derby] have become private, ultra-quiet streets at the expense of the rest of the ward,” Cataldo said. “We cannot continue to move the problem to neighboring streets without data from the traffic study.”
He added that the traffic study would have more accurate figures if the traffic returns to their original pattern in the neighborhood.