Northland has, on many occasions, acknowledged the simple truth that traffic on Needham street is already bad.
We now know just how bad Northland thinks traffic is. In it’s response to BETA’s peer review of its traffic study, Northland refuses to use “a different software program … to properly determine queue lengths at the signalized intersections along the Needham Street/Highland Avenue corridor” stating that it “has acknowledged the congestion along this corridor, therefore further review and modeling of the congestion is superfulous.” (please see Northland’s response to request #2.24: http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/95502).
Let’s be clear on what Northland is saying: the traffic on Needham Street is SO BAD that creating a PROPER model of the TRAFFIC THAT THEIR PROPOSED PROJECT WOULD ADD, which would account for delays from one intersection to the next (rather than examining individual intersections as if they exist in a vacuum), is, in their own word: “SUPERFLUOUS.”
In a letter to Newton’s Chief Planner, quoted in the response provided by Northland above, Northland opines that “[t]here is no dispute that the corridor is SATURATED at certain hours, so differing opinions on how much are not useful.”
We disagree. Traffic is a major concern for a development of the size proposed by Northland and understanding how the increased traffic will impact not only Needham street, but also surrounding roadways is IMPERATIVE. The already SATURATED Needham Street cannot absorb more traffic, so traffic-avoiding GPS systems (Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc.) will RE-ROUTE traffic along NARROW, neighborhood streets in HISTORIC Upper Falls and Newton Highlands.
In order to determine just HOW MUCH traffic will spill over onto neighborhood streets, Northland MUST BE REQUIRED to use proper modeling tools!
JOIN US this Tuesday, Arpil 9th at 7pm in the City Council Chambers (room 205 at City Hall) to DEMAND that the council REQUIRE Northland to complete the analysis using a tool such as SimTraffic, which was recommended by the peer reviewer.
For more information on TRAFFIC, please click HERE.