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Hudson grapples with traffic concerns as industrial park grows

HUDSON — With the new Comcast customer service center scheduled to open at year’s end, town officials are gearing up for continued growth in the Sagamore Industrial Park.

And that means more traffic.

This week, town selectmen decided to eliminate two of the park’s stop signs and install a new one at the intersection of Hampshire and Wentworth drives as part of the effort to reroute traffic from the already congested Lowell Road.

“We’re already seeing more businesses moving into or expanding in this industrial park,” Selectman Rick Maddox said Tuesday night. “What’s looked like a ghost town for many years is about to get very busy.”
According to one local property owner, the process of rerouting traffic has already begun.

Amherst resident Karen Tuthill, who owns a business at 17 Friars Drive, said the lack of a stop sign at the end of that street became a problem last week after a couple of close calls with speeding motorists.
“When I come to work in the morning, I still have to stop, but people are plowing right through,” Tuthill told selectmen. “And Executive Drive has become a speedway. What’s going to happen when Comcast opens and we have 200 more people driving around?”
“There needs to be some type of traffic control there because people just fly by as they wish,” she said.

Board Chairman Roger Coutu echoed Tuthill’s concerns, noting that he’s visited the park at various times of the day to get a grasp on the traffic situation.
Coutu said that the town has been working hard to make the park more attractive to potential new businesses.

“The streets had been neglected for a long time, but beautification has begun and some of the buildings are starting to sell. There’s been a lot of interest,” he said. “But traffic flow is a critical concern. We want to get people in and out of that park as safely as we can.”
During a recent visit, Coutu, a former police officer, said some of the cars in the park were traveling at an estimated 45 mph.

“I thought that was pretty excessive,” he said.

Vice Chairman Ben Nadeau said he’s asked the town’s highway department to install speed strips in the park. Local police were tasked with traffic enforcement.
“One day they issued several speeding citations,” Nadeau said.

The board is working closely with the town’s traffic safety committee to further address the issue. More discussions are planned in the coming month.

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