Traffic on Route One must flow smoothly
With all the attention on fixes to the Route 1 corridor currently being studied, the real priority for use of the corridor needs to be emphasized: The road is a highway, a major artery which is first and foremost dedicated to the transport of motor vehicles.
With the most current review seeming to be focused on the safety aspects of both pedestrian and bicycle traffic, short-term improvements to these two areas cannot be made at the expense of vehicular traffic flow.
As the Gazette editorial and other writes have indicated, current traffic flow is already compromised to the limit. To consider adding many pedestrian crosswalks to the eight-lane highway is a sugggestion that must have been made by those with heads in the sand.
Although the number of new crosswalks planned is now reduced to six, the answer here should be zero. Crosswalks are disruptive to traffic flow, particularly if the distance to be crossed is great, and a significant portion of the population are seniors.
Further, the existing plan appears to call for push-button crossings, leaving this feature at the whim of even one person wishing to cross. The best approach to moving people between one side of the highway to the other would seem to be frequent buses, free to the rider, provided by the outlets, and more frequent buses otherwise.
The effect of adding crosswalks in the summer tourist season is almost unimaginable. As it is there appears to be a direction of some stoplight sequencing which seems set up to impair traffic flow. The area between the Dartmouth Drive light and Route 24 includes several lights which change to yellow then red just after traffic has started back up from another stoplight.
Least interrupted traffic flow on the main artery should be the priority. For the increasing number of drivers coming to our area any changes for the worse in traffic flow or approach toward gridlock will dampen any wishes to return and feed the search for alternate routes, already under siege.
Please keep awareness of vehiclular traffic movement uppermost in mind when considering safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists.