Wynn Everett Files New Environmental Plans to Deal with Traffic

Wynn Everett filed more than 1,500 pages of its supplemental environmental reports dealing with traffic last Thursday and Friday – revealing enhanced plans to deal with Santilli Highway and Sweetser Circle.

While the majority of the voluminous document addressed issues of little concern to the public such as air traffic analyses, a good piece also addressed motor vehicle traffic – which was the whole purpose of the filing.

Wynn had cleared all other environmental requirements last year, but was asked to re-file an extensive plan on traffic.

Much of those plans had to do with the Charlestown issues of Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue.

However, a significant portion was dedicated to Everett’s two major circles on Rt. 16 and that of nearby Wellington Circle in Medford.

For Santilli Highway, the plans include widening the roadway on the north side of the rotary to provide three travel lanes, providing more room for vehicles destined for the Gateway Center/Mystic View Road and allowing vehicles to bypass the queues of those vehicles and reach Revere Beach Parkway (Route 16) westbound.

Additionally, they would channelize the roadway on the south side of the rotary through a combination of pavement markings and raised islands to remove the weaving area between Mystic View Road and Revere Beach Parkway (Route 16) that, in combination with new guide signage and signal timing and phasing adjustments, will improve traffic flow.

The improvements also include an enhanced, accessible pedestrian path along the western and northern sides of the rotary and across Santilli Highway. The improvements will also include landscape amenities and added stormwater capacity.

The timeline for those improvements, however, will have to be wrapped around the larger Woods Memorial Bridge replacement project on Rt. 16. It is expected that the mediation by Wynn would take two construction seasons, but would begin in the winter of 2015.

“In the course of the continued design of the Santilli Circle improvements, the Proponent will continue to work with MassDOT, DCR, and the City of Everett on a mutually acceptable schedule for the construction of the Santilli Circle improvements,” read the filing.

Wynn indicated that all concerns previously raised by all agencies have been resolved with the new plan.

At Sweetser Circle – at the end of Lower Broadway – Wynn’s plan is similar to Santilli.

The improvements include implementing clear and recognizable pavement markings and signage to guide motorists through the rotary more efficiently, and formalizing right-turn lanes at all entrances to the rotary so that motorists may take the first exit from the rotary without needing to merge with circulating traffic.

These improvements are predicted to reduce the amount of merging and diverging conflicts at the rotary, which will improve efficiency as well as significantly improving the safety of the rotary. The improvements also include accessible sidewalks along the outside of the rotary, walkways between legs of the rotary, and accessible crossings across all legs of the intersection to facilitate pedestrian access.

As for Wellington Circle, the traffic issues there have been every bit as devastating for years upon Everett as they have been upon Medford.

Wynn proposed to provide $1.5 million for a long-term study done by the state to address a solution.

To address both current and projected future operational deficiencies at Wellington Circle, Wynn has collaborated with MassDOT on a plan to optimize traffic signal timing and phasing and make certain geometric improvements within the existing public right-of-way. The geometric improvements include providing an additional through travel lane on both Route 16 approaches and an additional left-turn lane on the Fellsway (Route 28) northbound approach.

The improvements also include removing some paved areas to create new green space and planting new trees to improve the streetscape.

The filings are now in a public comment period and have to get a final sign off from the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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