By Chief Steven J. Wojnar
Dudley Police Department
I continue to receive questions about a particular intersection in Town. The Airport Road and West Main Street intersection is a three lane area which can cause confusion for some drivers. One of the businesses at this location is a Cumberland Farm convenience store. Since this location was remodeled recently, it is frequently visited by patrons. Even though some alterations were made to the traffic patterns entering and exiting this location, one question is still a subject of discussion. While traveling east on West Main Street seeking to enter the parking lot, is it proper to be in “left turn only” lane for Airport Road or should drivers stay in the through lane and turn later?
The “left turn only” lane at this intersection is present to allow for a turn onto Airport Road only. When this area was redesigned many years ago, this intersection was widened to allow vehicles to turn left while at the same time providing sufficient room for other cars to continue along West Main Street toward Webster. A left turn after this intersection should not be made from the “left turn only” lane. This could cause an accident with vehicles traveling east on West Main Street. Other drivers may assume a vehicle in the left turn lane is traveling to Airport Road.
The proper way to make a turn into the Cumberland Farms lot is to stay in the through lane and move to the left after the intersection. Changes were made during construction making the first driveway “exit only.” Since it is the only entrance on West Main Street and it is considered “safest,” the second driveway is the only option. With this in mind, vehicles have sufficient time to travel in the through lane before preparing to make the left turn. This movement should limit confusion on behalf of other drivers traveling through this location.
It is important to watch your speed and be aware of your surroundings when driving. This intersection is very busy with drivers and pedestrians moving in multiple directions. Do not assume others will be thinking in the same way you are. By driving defensively, you have a better chance of avoiding accidents and injuries.
I wish to thank Selectmen’s Administrative Assistant Michelle Jervis and the numerous other town hall employees and volunteers who donated their time and goods to the Dudley Town Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony held on Wednesday, December 5th. A large crowd was on hand to light the tree and see Santa arrive thanks to the Dudley Fire Department. It officially opened the holiday season. Those on hand enjoyed the entertainment, food items, and goodies, most of which were donated by local businesses. Thanks again to all who helped and all who attended for making this another successful community event.