By Evan Allen, Globe Staff
The city of Newton is reversing course and undoing some modifications recently made at a busy intersection in Newton Centre, after discovering the changes had made traffic worse, not better.
The city attempted to speed traffic flow through the congested intersection of Parker and Cypress Streets at Centre Street by narrowing the lanes and adding a stop sign, but the new modifications have created more backups, said Commissioner of Public Works David Turocy.
As early as next week, workers will start undoing the modifications to return the intersection to its old configuration.
“There are just too many cars for that intersection,” he said. "There are no great answers. We knew no matter what that traffic flow was going to be poor, even with these improvements. It was just worse than we expected.”
Workers doing the original construction in Newton Centre had not yet paved the intersection, and Turocy said he decided to have them reverse the changes before they laid down the asphalt.
“I didn’t want to pave it and rip it up again,” he said.
The intersection was being remodeled as part of a $1.8-million contract from the state, said Turocy, that included work on two other intersections as well as a street paving. He said he did not know how much the work on Cypress and Centre Streets cost, but that the city had funds leftover in the grant which would pay for the reversal of the construction.
The city will be looking at the intersection again in the next few years, he said, when the old health department building is redeveloped, and the traffic configuration could be changed at that point.
The intersection could be back to its old self within about two weeks, said Turocy, and then workers will pave it.
“I thought it was a mistake to begin with and I’m thrilled that it’s being reversed,” said Cheryl Lappin, Vice President of the Board of Aldermen. “I’m sure there are other ways to make these intersections safer without increasing traffic.”
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