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Selectmen Discuss Closing Warren St.

Once again, a discussion on closing Warren St. came up during the Upton Board of Selectmen's meeting.

The item was on the Look Ahead topics of the May 21 agenda, meaning it will be discussed more in depth at a future meeting. Still, the Board held a brief discussion on investigating the possibility. Warren St. runs adjacent to the Town Hall and is part of a five-road intersection in the center of town. A number of parking spots for

the Town Hall can be utilized by crossing Warren St., causing safety concerns among town officials. Some parking spots, including several handicap spots, also run vertical to the building on Warren St. "Obviously, it's a safety issue. We've had some near misses of people walking to and from the Town Hall or to and from just walking on [Rt.]140. It's a little bit dangerous over there," said new Selectman Chair Stephen Matellian. He added, however, one of the downsides of closing Warren St. could be the traffic that would instead utilize Church St., which has a preschool run at United Parish.

According to Town Manager Derek Brindisi, the primary goal concerning the Town Hall parking is to reconfigure its handicap parking before the winter months set in. "Winter time is extremely challenging

for those folks," he said. As a result, Brindisi explained a design engineer was brought in who recommended a head in parking option facing the building which would also add seven more parking spots. Brindisi recommended temporarily closing Warren St. for the next six to 12 months to complete the project, which would also give town officials the necessary time to study the effects of closing Warren St. "A temporary closure would give you a better idea of the traffic situation," agreed Selectman Maureen Dwinnell.

Brindisi also recommended beginning a future Selectman's meeting in the parking lot in order to explain what the new parking lay out would resemble. Selectman Brett Simas questioned with the parking reconfiguration, could Warren St. reopen if need be,

to which Brindisi said yes. Simas added the Fire Chief, Police Chief, and DPW Director have favored closing down Warren St. for some time. "So, there's no reason we wouldn't do a temporary closure to see what the impact is," he said. Economic Development Committee member Bill McCormick, who was in attendance, said the Committee has been working with Police Chief Michael Bradley who is "100 percent in support of closing the street."


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