North Amherst center Pine/Meadow intersection (circled)
Local long time activist and North Amherst resident Vince O'Connor told the Public Works Committee last night that a stop sign was needed at the Sunderland/Montague Road junction just north of the main intersection in the North Amherst Village Center. Now!
O'Connor is worried that students coming to the University of Massachusetts driving through the intersection for the first time will be confused by the 5-way intersect taking place within a small distance leading to public safety issues.
Public Works Committee Chair Christine Gray-Mullen did not want to hear about that particular micro-management issue since it was not on the agenda for committee discussion. So any extended discussion now would be a violation of Open Meeting Law.
Public Works Committee last night. DPW Chief Guilford Mooring top center
DPW Chief Guilford Mooring stated many people were confused by the issue at the June 24 Public Forum and wanted to solve the entire 5-way intersection problem, when in fact there are two distinct separate intersections that need to be addressed individually.
The agenda for the PWC meeting sought to do just that.
After O'Connor stormed out of the meeting, saying he would press his concerns with the Amherst Select Board, the Public Works Committee voted unanimously to separate Pine/Meadow/North Pleasant from Montague/Sunderland Road for redesign purposes.
Mr. O'Connor wants a stop sign on Montague Road (circled)
Mooring reaffirmed his belief that the only solution for Pine/Meadow/North Pleasant was a simple traffic light tweak allowing guaranteed left turns, like the traffic control at University Drive and Amity Street.
And new traffic control lights could be up and flashing by next year.
The town will host another public forum on the North Amherst intersection in October. The Amherst Select Board has final say over the design improvements.