By Seth Daniel
Hold that Big Mac, Ronald McDonald hasn’t got his ticket out of town just yet.
Wynn Everett officials announced to the Planning Board on Monday night that the McDonald’s on Lower Broadway will not relocate to accommodate the new Wynn service road, but would rather rebuild right next door.
The McDonald’s was long rumored to be bought out by Wynn to accommodate a service road that seemingly needed to get right through the center of the Fry-o-Later at the fast food chain.
Chris Gordon of Wynn said at the meeting Monday that the McDonald’s would be gone in its current configuration, but would not move off Lower Broadway.
“We have also reached an agreement with McDonald’s for a reconfiguration of the site so they can stay on Lower Broadway,” he said. “We believe we have the land agreements in place to make this happen…The new [service road] would go right through where the existing McDonald’s is today. We’re worked out an agreement with McDonald’s where they want to rebuild on the other half of that site, of course subject to Planning Board approval. The road would be more like a continuation of Beacham Street.”
The new service road plan came before the Planning Board for the first time and clarified some questions that have lingered.
Gordon said the plan would call for the service entrance to only be used by service vehicles/employee shuttles going to Wynn, by MBTA officials and those headed to the new McDonald’s. Once past the McDonald’s entrance, there would be an entrance to the T property straight ahead. Taking a turn on a new Charlton Street extension, the road would curve around before heading back to the railroad tracks, passing the proposed Wynn warehouse (formerly the Charlton Street business warehouse) and behind the MBTA Shops building along the tracks to the back of the Wynn building.
One major concern for the Planning Board was the fact that the intersection at Beacham Street and Lower Broadway would contain a new signalized configuration with a new roadway on the opposite side. Some were concerned about trucks trying to make the turns onto Broadway.
Member Leo Pizzano Jr. asked if it would be possible to acquire the nail salon on the opposite corner of Beacham Street in order to widen the intersection.
Gordon said they have looked into that and have talked to the City about it, but nothing definitive has been planned.
“I know it’s a pain in the neck to say we want to know everything and have everything answered, but we do,” Pizzano said. “That’s really important to know every about this intersection – including the nail salon.”
One major controversy regarding the service road has flared up with a load of letters from the residents of the Batch Yard development directly abutting the proposed service road.
Their concerns involve the opening of Charlton Street to general traffic. Many said they wanted to have the area closed to traffic.
“I’m in favor as long as there is no access to Charlton Street,” said Michael Russo of Charlton Street.
Stephan Koury of the Batch Yard said he also had the same concern. He said if traffic is allowed through to the service road, the streets within the Batch Yard would be even more clogged with pass-through traffic.
“Already there is a lot of traffic,” he said. “If there is access we’ll have all the MBTA employees, all the commercial access for Wynn, all the Fed Ex, all the UPS, and Glennon’s and the trash trucks cutting through as well…It would be better to have a buffer and green space and maybe emergency access, but not necessarily a public road.”
Gordon said the opening of Charlton Street is more of a City issue and Wynn has no opinion.
“From a traffic perspective it made sense because you get circulation back and forth, but we are well aware of abutter’s concerns about traffic going through there,” he said. “From a traffic point of view, it makes sense, but we don’t have a strong opinion on that. If the decision is to block it, we’ll put a barrier there. If the decision is to leave it open, we’ll leave it open.”
Another possible point of contention is on Broadway, where bicycle lanes extend to the curb and most of the parking along Broadway is shown as being taken away.
Numerous residents, however, spoke completely in favor of the plan.
“I’ve dealt with traffic going in there for 15 years now every day when I got to work in Boston,” said Linda Shannon of Berwick Court. “I know the Wynn people will make this easier to get through because otherwise no one will go to see Mr. Wynn’s casino. When they’re doing the construction, I know I’ll it will be a mess and it will be difficult, but I can live with it a couple of years because I know it will be better.”
There were no opponents to the plan.
Wynn Everett will be back at the Planning Board on March 14 to address concerns to the service road plan. Gordon said he believes they will be ready to answer all questions at that meeting and to request the Board to take a vote on the plan.