Friday, May 20, 2011

Stupid, stupid idea

I wrote a while ago about my happiness at the installation of a stop light at Derby/Hawthorne/Congress, because, after all, it's all your fault. I still think a stoplight there is necessary, but may have to withdraw my endorsement of this project because of this:

A terrible idea!

In the last few days, no turn on red signs have been added to these lights in at least three of the four directions. I'm not sure about Derby Street coming from Pickering Wharf, but the three other entrances to this intersection all sport the signs. Simply, they aren't necessary, and will cause large backups. Plenty of traffic comes down Hawthorne Boulevard and turns right onto Derby. It's a simple turn, with good visibility, including of the crosswalk. Forcing them to wait when it's safe to turn will back traffic up to the hotel. The traffic on Derby street coming from the wharf area is frequently minimal, so a right turn on red here poses little risk. Traffic coming from Congress Street also has good visibility, so a right on red there makes sense as well.

If you look at the two other stop lights farther down Derby Street, both are arguably busier intersections, with more lanes of traffic, and as many or more pedestrians. Neither spot sports right on red prohibitions. The Derby @ Washington intersection should be a candidate for such a restriction long before the one we've actually hung them at.

Please note, I'm not one of the people who yells and screams that every new traffic pattern will create chaos. I welcomed the bypass road, I didn't cry that the sky would fall when North Street was reconfigured at Bridge. I'm not one of "those" people. In this one case, I'm warning you now that it's a mistake to not allow right on red in this spot.

Unrelated note: Looks like there is a newly open restaurant visible in the picture above. Anyone know anything about Scratch Kitchen?


  1. What's the big deal, G? I have been turning right on no right turn on red light signs in Massachusetts for a decade and have never gotten a ticket. Nobody does! Just shush about it and ignore those silly signs. Someone got paid to make them and put them up so everbody is happy. The more the merrier, I say!

  2. P.S. Just for the record, I am joking, of course. :)

  3. Traffic signals are a bad idea, I am sure you will see Salem putting up signs that say "dont block intersection" when its gridlock dont there.

  4. Those lights will make traffic much worse. What a great idea.We can look forward to gridlock at Congress/Derby,Washington/New Derby and one of the worst Norman @ the post office.Who makes these decisions? Who will want to deal with this nonsense just to get to the Willows or Pickering Wharf? It's easier to go to Beverly ,Danvers or Peabody then it is to go through Salem. Nice job.


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