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Will Norton be All Right?

Is There a Better Way to Make a Left Turn in Norton?

In a recent blog, a fictional character of mine laments about the difficulty of making a left turn in Norton. For me it was an easy thing to write about because I experience it nearly every day.  Crossing over Rt. 123 or Rt. 140 has become a white knuckle adventure.

Here is my countdown of the 5 left turns that most likely strike fear in anyone besides a NASCAR driver or stunt pilot (these are all left turns):

5. The Hess Station on to Rt. 123

4.  Leaving CVS or Aubuchon

3. After soccer, leaving the Middle School

2. Either exit of Roche Brothers on to Rt. 140, especially by the Dunkin Donuts

1. North and South Worcester Street on to Rt. 123, just crazy.

Here is where I see an even bigger problem. Many well intentioned people will try to help things along by either waving people on, or giving them a flash of the headlights, seemingly indicating that it is OK to proceed. Meanwhile, someone coming in the other direction has no intention of slowing down. Even worse, sometimes people behind the good Samaritan will go around the standing vehicle right directly toward the person making the left. At times, it can be sheer chaos. The driver at the stop sign is forced to make a rapid fire decision on whether to stay put and decline the offer or just "go for it".

Increasingly my mother, who has a perfect driving record, will make a series of rights to avoid making a left in Norton. Has it really come to this?

I try to make it a point of not complaining about things unless I can offer a solution. In this case, I have no remedy. My thought is that casting a light on the issue might lead to a creative way making things better down the road instead of "all right".

Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions, or harrowing tales of Norton left turn nightmares are strongly welcomed and encouraged.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael McKenney April 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I agree, Norton is in serious need of road improvements, including the addition of traffic lights at many of our intersections. However Norton has always been behind in State Highway funding, much of it is because we have little or no voice in acquiring the state $$ needed to improve our roadways. Just look to our neighbor to the north, Mansfield. Their highway superintendent is on the state board that acquires the $$ for highway and roadway improvements. As a result, Mansfield has traffic lights at every major intersection, and sidewalks on every street, with Norton being the total opposite. The Town Hall has been talking about a traffic light in front of Roch Bros. shopping center for more than ten years without any results. But Norton is always it's own worst enemy. For example, when the Norton Middle School was built a full set of traffic lights were in the plans. In typical Norton fashion it was deleted to save $$. When a rare road improvement project does come up, there is always a handful of local residents that oppose it, and the selectmen always back down. The last example was Barrows St., the original proposal was to have the narrow road widened, and have sidewalks installed. Again, local residents opposed the modernization of the road and selectmen went along with it. Our residents need to lobby the selectmen, our state reps, and the state highway commission for the funds to make Norton's roads a safe place to drive, not the chaotic free-for-all they are today.
Kevin M. April 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Thanks for the comments. I like how Norton is different than the surrounding towns regarding traffic lights but there has to be a happy medium.
Kevin M. April 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Thanks for the very thoughtful feedback. Doesn't it seem like when you pull out of Roche Bros by Dunkin Donuts the oncoming traffic on Rt. 140 seems to likes speed up to make the turn even more treacherous?
Tom Golota April 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I would add Pine Street onto rt. 123 to the list, especially at rush hour!
Kevin M. April 18, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Thanks Tom. Perhaps the Top 5 should become a Top 10....

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