Construction is about to begin on the $30 million dollar renovation of the Needham Street corridor: starting at the junction of Winchester Street and Route 9 in Newton and extending down Needham Street, across the Charles River onto the Fire Station on Highland Avenue in Needham. Here’s the guest column I wrote about it this week for the TAB.
My favorite addition will be the new smart traffic lights that can give priority to MBTA buses, as well as Northland’s proposed free electric shuttles, making bus ridership more attractive. It’s important to note that the state will not be making Needham Street wider. Studies show that adding lanes doesn’t actually improve traffic flow; it attracts more cars. Instead, this is about making Needham Street safer for residents, shoppers and workers, no matter which mode of transportation we choose.