New Bedford’s Mt. Pleasant St. Redo Creates Parking Lot Havoc
Most of the reconstruction of New Bedford's Mount Pleasant Street at the Franco-American War Memorial Park appears to be complete, and I am still struggling to figure out why it was necessary in the first place.
I understand that transitioning from Nauset Street west onto Hathway Road was difficult, and traffic lights there make sense – but why permanently block a portion of Mount Pleasant Street and force traffic to maneuver around a newly expanded park?
What is happening is what I suspected would occur. Rather than drive to the new set of lights and turn right onto Hathaway Road, many motorists traveling west on Nauset Street are cutting through the parking lot, entering at Subway, and exiting at Dunkin' onto Mount Pleasant Street.
The same is true in reverse. Rather than travel to the new traffic lights at Hathaway Road and Nauset Street, many motorists are cutting through the parking lot, entering at Dunkin', and exiting at Subway on Nauset Street.
I sat in my car in the parking lot and observed this activity for about a half hour on Tuesday, and there was a steady stream of traffic through the parking lot in both directions – not to mention a number of near misses.
Dunkin' creates its own traffic issues in that parking lot but add to it a liquor store, a supermarket, a Dollar Tree, and a bank with a drive-thru window, and you can have absolute and total chaos.
How long before someone and their shopping cart full of groceries winds up being a hood ornament?
I asked Police Chief Paul Oliveira if he knew the parking lot is used regularly as a shortcut by those looking to avoid the new traffic configuration.
"That has not been brought to my attention," he said. "We will monitor it."