The hot mess of a New Bedford intersection
Whoever designed the pavement markings at the junction of New Bedford’s Ashley Boulevard and Acushnet Avenue made a big mess at the intersection. I don’t drive around this neighborhood often since I sold my house two years ago, and when I do, I wish I had taken a different route.
Holy cow! Offer this person a job designing video games or whatever, but keep them away from the roads.
The Boulevard and Avenue are two of the longest and busiest streets in the town of New Bedford. Where they meet there will be a lot of traffic.
The opening of Route 140 in the 1970s and the additional push north by residents heading to the suburbs increased the flow of southbound traffic, adding more traffic to the mix.
Although stressed, the crossroads was able to handle the extra traffic – but then came the new Cumberland Farms store, complete with a gas station and car wash. Concerns about even more traffic led to the installation of new traffic signals and the need for new traffic lanes and markings.
According to a story in the Normal hours As of November 10, 2020, Cumberland Farms has paid between $400,000 and $600,000 to upgrade the intersection to handle the infusion of approximately 100 additional vehicles per hour. Because they paid for the upgrades, the chain had to design them.
As you approach the intersection, unless you do it regularly, it’s almost impossible to tell which lane you are in or where and when you can turn. You also have very little time to decide. I can’t tell you how many times I mixed up the left lanes heading south on Acushnet Avenue, forcing me to turn into the Cumberland Farms parking lot.
Heading north, I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to turn left onto Belair Street at Joe and Perky.
Besides all the fancy, overdone grid work, there are little white circles in the traffic lanes down the center of the road that may or may not designate the lane as a cycle lane.
The intersection is, as they say, a true cluster. A hot mess. I try to avoid it at all costs.
The 12 worst intersections on the south coast
Here are the 12 worst intersections on the SouthCoast. One point for each intersection crossed.
See how much this Fall River intersection has changed in a decade
Well, that’s surely a blast from the past. While exploring the Street View feature of Google Maps recently, I came across an old still from 2012 mixed in with newer ones. It showed a nearly decade-old look at Fall River’s New Harbor Mall, which is now dead and has been replaced by stores at SouthCoast Marketplace. The more I looked around the William Canning Boulevard intersection, the more I began to see remnants of the past, some that may now be long forgotten for some. This Fall River intersection has changed so much over the past decade, but if you need a quick peek in the rearview mirror to see how far it’s come, check out some of the following stills.