Bill Taffel. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Town Meeting Vote Demonstrated Support for Traffic Light in the Center

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Resident Bill Taffel, who led an unsuccessful push to fund a design study for a traffic light at the intersection of Main Street and Boston Road, sent the following letter to selectmen on April 15. Taffel filed a citizen petition for the annual Town Meeting on March 24. The measure failed 224 to 204.

By researching WestfordCAT videos, Taffel said he discovered that a previous Board of Selectmen did not follow a recommendation made in a governmental study. The study recommended installing a traffic light at the intersection.

“The whole reason for this petition is I don’t think the town’s decisions about what to do with the center serves the people’s needs very well,” Taffel said in February. “The purpose of this is to give them a chance to have a say about it because (town officials) didn’t do it before. They took it off the table. So now (voters) will have it.”

The 2014 report, entitled “Westford Town Center Traffic and Parking Study” was produced by the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments.

Members of the Board of Selectmen:

Article 9 (traffic light at the intersection of Boston Road and Main Street) was defeated at the March 24, 2018 Annual Town Meeting by the close margin of 204 in favor and 224 against.

The intersection of Boston Road and Main Street where resident Bill Taffel sought and failed to initiate a study for a traffic light. PHOTO BY PATTY STOCKER

The intersection of Boston Road and Main Street where resident Bill Taffel sought and failed to initiate a study for a traffic light. PHOTO BY PATTY STOCKER

That close vote resulted even though only seven minutes were allowed for me to explain the complicated situation, with no opportunity to clarify incorrect statements made by some subsequent speakers.

Although the article didn’t win, it made it quite clear that there is, in fact, a substantial amount of support for a traffic light at that intersection. This was a public hearing with over 400 people in attendance, and almost half of those present voted for the light.  The vote clearly demonstrated that the light should be given serious consideration as an option for the center.

When the topic comes up again in the future, please keep this in mind. It is no longer possible to say “we had hearings, and there was no support for a light.” —Bill Taffel, Cold Spring Road