Jeff Weeks: Exit 19 project is confusing

  • A southbound cyclist turns right from North King Street (Rt. 5) onto Hatfield Street in Northampton June 25. A roundabout is planned for the intersection. File photo

Published: 8/4/2020 2:48:49 PM

I was reading a letter written by Diane Kleber regarding the proposed roundabout on King Street. She wonders who decided the roundabout was a better idea than traffic lights.

Have you noticed the work going on at Interstate 91’s Exit 19 and Damon Road intersection? The construction there is a giant roundabout replacing the traffic lights. Many people I have spoken with think this will be a high-speed demolition derby, but that is not the immediate source of my confusion.

Roundabouts are suppose to keep traffic moving, yet it appears traffic lights will still be needed to allow vehicles to get onto the southbound ramp entrance to I-91. Who thought this was a good idea, as it will most likely back up traffic into and stopping flow around the rotary?

Several years ago when this project was proposed, meetings were held allowing for the public’s input on ideas for this intersection. One idea making the most sense was an overhead cloverleaf, which would take traffic out of the intersection.

Could somebody please explain the reasoning behind the current project?

 Jeff Weeks


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