Anyone who has ever traveled along Route 6 knows it’s a road from another era. Once the main highway that carried vacationers from points south and west to Cape Cod, many parts of this state roadway now run through economically depressed sections of cities and towns, while others intersect the very hearts of vital communities.
New retail congestion in many locations adds to the travel flow issues, and intersections more dangerous to pedestrians, posted traveling speeds too high, insufficient lighting, and maintenance are all issues faced by those who live near Route 6 or those who use it to get from Point A to Point B.
Now the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District is poised to study Route 6 from Route 240 in Fairhaven to Main Street in Wareham.
Marion had reached out to SRPEDD for assistance with Route 6 issues as they completed their Master Plan. That impetus, along with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation seeking assistance in this matter, will result in a phased study.
While the study will look at the roadway itself, it will also shed light on surrounding land resources. SRPEDD’s team will delve into key areas such as “village style” development, mixed-used commercial development, and opportunities to develop a greater variety of housing types.
The prepared notification from SRPEDD dated January 2018 and circulated at the April 10 meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen notes, “…SRPEDD staff have continually heard that Route 6 was inaccessible to bicyclists and pedestrians, the intersections were difficult to navigate, and the corridor essentially separated the north side of town from the village area to the south.”
Town Administrator Michael Gagne said, “This is very exciting.” He said that in conversations with the police and fire departments safety issues along Route 6 were a constant theme. Gagne said that he is often approached by residents who echo their concerns about the safety of Route 6. He thanked Representative William Straus for helping to shepherd the project into reality.
The first phase of the study will collect data on such topics as intersection geometrics, signaling, freight and truck movement, crash data, land use, and bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure assessments.
Also during the meeting, selectmen re-opened the public hearing on the matter of licensure of aquaculture fields held by Taylor Cultured Seafood, Inc. At the previous meeting, Guy Rossi and Zach Sun, owners/operators of the 100-acre site, said they were surrendering the license. They were advised to provide a letter from their corporation demonstrating that a vote had been taken to relinquish the license and were to have returned that letter before the April 10 meeting.
Failing that, the selectmen moved to revoke the license.
Taylor Seafood and its various owners had held the license since 1988, but more recently had not appropriately maintained or cultivated the sites.
Mattapoisett currently has three smaller active aquaculture licenses located in Brandt Cove and Nasketucket Bay.
Gagne reminded the public that the Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for May 14, and that Article 1 will be the citizen’s petition seeking to ban recreational marijuana sales in Mattapoisett.
Selectmen Tyler Macallister urged the public to participate in local government, exercising their right to vote in elections and to participate in town meetings. He said the selectmen need to hear “your voice.”
Gagne said that on April 21 in Plymouth at the DPW station located at 169 Camelot Drive there would be a household hazardous waste collection day from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. He also said he would look into costs associated with holding such an event closer to home, possibly in partnership with Rochester, Marion, or Wareham.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for April 24 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.
Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen
By Marilou Newell