Shopping carts, litter, and traffic: Select Board talks issues on Route 6

By Shenandoah Briere | Feb 27, 2018
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch An abandoned shopping cart sits in the median of Route 6 in August 2017.

From inattentive motorists blocking major intersections, to litter and improperly placed signs, Select Board members are once again fuming over the state of Route 6 and surrounding roadways.

Starting off the criticism of Dartmouth’s major east-west highway at the February 26 Select Board meeting was member Stanley Mickelson, who took issue with signs recently placed along Faunce Corner Road near the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

“Never asked once if they could put one sign, so I put them on warning,” Mickelson said. “Do it again and we will pull them off as fast as you put them on.”

He said the signs are for elections in the Boston area. Mickelson said 24 signs have been taken down in the area, and another member suggested looking into billing sign placers for services rendered.

Member Shawn McDonald also chimed in, first praising a community member who took to social media with a video of him cleaning up trash on Route 6 near Walgreens, which had become an eyesore as people drove or walked by. McDonald was annoyed that the cleanup was necessary, however, and was not being conducted by the property owner.

That segued into a discussion on abandoned shopping carts on Route 6. McDonald said Walmart shopping carts are consistently showing up on Route 6, and Walmart isn’t fixing the problem even though the town reached out to the regional manager about the issue.

McDonald suggested contacting the Department of Public Works to collect the carts for scrap and send the bill to the shopping center. Members also discussed no longer entertaining anything that comes before them regarding Walmart, like special Black Friday hours.

McDonald also wants a letter sent to companies in the area telling them to clean up their properties.

“I have to drive that road every single day,” McDonald said. “People have to drive that road every single day. Not only do we have to deal with the traffic problems, not only do we have to hear about the traffic problems, but now we have to hear about the litter problems and see the litter problems. It’s getting ridiculous.”

Traffic problems were also discussed, with McDonald highlighting a routine occurrence at the Route 6 and Faunce Corner Road intersection: people entering the intersection when there is a backup at the next light, causing motorists to end up stuck in the intersection and blocking traffic.

McDonald wants to ask the Department of Public Works to contact the state to put “Do Not Block Intersection” signs up and to paint a box around those signs. The box would also have a sign reading something along the lines of “Do Not Block the Box.”

“Somewhere, some time, somebody is going to get a clue not to block the intersection,” McDonald said.

He is also asking the police to write tickets to those who do block the intersection.

Member Keli Martin Taglianetti got in on the conversation. She said drivers also need to be more aware of what is going on, noting if they did that it would save a lot of people the trouble.

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