Dangerous exit at mall soon gets a fix
Reader Jane Barrett asks about a troubling and dangerous development related to Harvard University’s planned expansion into Allston.
“Now that Harvard has started construction of the new Charlesview Apartments at Brighton Mills on Western Avenue in Brighton, they have blocked off the only exit from the shopping mall that has an operating traffic light. The remaining two exits are extremely dangerous when you are trying to make a left-hand turn onto Western Avenue,’’ she wrote in an e-mail.
Drivers leaving the parking lot of the busy center, which houses a Shaw’s supermarket and a McDonald’s, often have difficulty trying to merge back into traffic without aid of a traffic light, particularly during weekday rush hours.
Vehicle activity from a nearby car wash and an intersecting side street by the lot’s main entrance only make the situation more treacherous, she wrote.
“Even exiting and taking a right is difficult because the light is not operating and there is very little break in the traffic - you can have a long wait until the light at the Leo Birmingham/Western Ave intersection changes,’’ Barrett wrote. “Are there any plans on relocating the current traffic light (that now serves no purpose) to another exit to address safety concerns?’’
During a recent visit by a Globe reporter, the overhead traffic signals in front of the fenced-over parking lot entrance flashed yellow interminably, serving no function.
While an active light at Western Avenue and Everett Street halts traffic, idling vehicles often back up past the two shopping center entrances, providing little relief for exiting drivers.
The city responds “You’ll be happy to know that plans are underway to accomplish exactly what your reader suggests,’’ Tracey Ganiatsos, a spokeswoman for the Boston Transportation Department, wrote in an e-mail.
“As part of a Harvard University project known as Brighton Mills, the traffic signal that you refer to will be removed and relocated on Western Avenue to a location that will better suit the final project design.
“It will be relocated to the intersection of Western Avenue and Telford Street, an intersection that will provide access to Brighton Mills once reconstruction of the curb and other necessary changes in the area are complete,’’ she wrote.
“The city is working with Harvard University on the schedule at this time, and we expect that the traffic signal will be relocated prior to the end of this calendar year.’’
GlobeWatch runs every other Monday. Readers with problems they would like addressed can send e-mail to email@example.com.