GRAFTON, Mass.—Driving through Grafton Common has always been an adventure for both beginner and seasoned drivers. On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved establishing a traffic redesign committee to study making it easier.
This new committee, which will be for a one year term, will study the traffic flow at the intersection of Worcester and Millbury Street as well as the parking patterns in front of 2 and 10 Grafton Common.
Residents know it as the hot spot where a traffic dummy with a flashing yellow light would routinely be decapitated by an inattentive driver. It has since been replaced by an awkwardly placed stop sign on Millbury Street.
Selectman Brook Padgett believes fixing the traffic flow problem is more complex and expensive than it looks. All agree the entire area, from the Grafton Common buildings to the flashing-yellow dummy near the library needs to be addressed, but it would most likely need the input of historical preservationists, neighbors, and shop owners.
“We want to look at everything,” said Padgett. “But it’s a bad intersection at 2 Grafton Common.”
The immediate issue, according to Town Administrator Tim McInerney, is crosswalk safety and sight line issues on Worcester Street where drivers have right of way. Padgett speculated a quick fix by temporarily placing Jersey barriers to prevent fender benders as cars ease into and out of parking spaces.
“I don’t want a Jersey barrier,” said Padgett, “but I don’t want a traffic accident.”
A permanent fix might take years according to Padgett. Since Grafton Common is an historical area that is also home to small business owners, finding a long-term solution could be complex. The board agreed that addressing this intersection first would be a sensible start.
The new committee would start as soon as the members are selected, with a deadline of Sept. 1.