This piece should greatly interest folks who regularly drive around Framingham, Massachusetts, and for those who live far from Framingham, it may make you thankful that you DON'T have to regularly drive around Framingham, Massachusetts!
We're coming upon Fourth of July Weekend...in fact, as the Fourth is on a Tuesday, it ends up being a very long "Fourth of July Weekend" this year. I absolutely love Fourth of July Weekend, but I do remember that when I was a kid, my mother did not like Fourth of July Weekend. My father was a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Inspector. (By the late 1970s, they were called the "Registry Police" and by the mid-1990s, they had merged with the Mass. State Police.) Every Fourth of July, Dad, like many law enforcement officers was doing "holiday road enforcement". In most communities, road enforcement is "stepped up" during certain times of the year such as this coming weekend. In Framingham, highly stepped up road enforcement goes on ALL the time. The part about that which I DON'T like is that there are a number of "tricks" when it comes to driving around Framingham and trying to avoid getting a ticket.
My own street (Harrison Street) was for years a "short cut" from Hartford Street to Route 126. Neighbors complained that there were far too many cars on our street and some were going too fast. That's true, but the Town's initial action around 2000 was to post "Do Not Enter" signs two-thirds of the way down the street (with no actual barriers). Everybody kept driving down the street as they always had. The police had a "field day" stopping and ticketing car after car, day after day. Finally, the Town installed "Jersey Barriers" making Harrison Street sort of a mini version of Berlin during the Cold War, and that pretty much fixed that problem. In 2001, a flashing red light was installed at Blandin Ave. and Beaver St. Like most locals who had forgotten the light had been installed, I accidentally went through it one day. A Framingham cop stopped me and I got a $50 ticket. (Incidentally, it's now a permanent "regular cycle" traffic light which works much better.) In the most bizarre, convoluted traffic change I've ever seen the Town of Framingham come up with, about two months ago, signs suddenly appeared regulating turns onto Howe Street. (Howe Street is a secondary road which runs east-west between Bishop Street and Hartford Street- intersecting with Grant Street.) Motorists traveling toward Natick on Hartford Street can no longer make a right turn onto Howe Street. Motorists traveling toward Natick on Grant Street can no longer make a left turn onto Howe Street. Lately, a number of confused motorists have been getting ticketed for making those turns. There is a house on that stretch of Howe Street which has been for sale for several weeks. It will probably be for sale for quite awhile, as people who are not familiar with the neighborhood will GIVE UP on trying to get onto the street! Honestly, I am familiar with the neighborhood, but I had to take a minute or so to work it out like an algebra problem and realize that with a little thought and planning there IS a way to get on and off that section of Howe Street. But who needs THAT! As it is, I've had all sorts of friends and family complain about trying to get to MY residence with the Jersey Barriers in the way, etc., but I'd HATE to try to get a pizza or Chinese food delivery on that weird section of Howe Street.
Finally, some people think downtown Framingham should be named "Little Brazil". I think a much better name for it is "No Left Turn"! Ever try to get through downtown Framingham...or to get where you're going in downtown Framingham?! If it isn't "No Left Turn", it's "One Way", OR it's "Road Closed-Under Construction"! Recently I was walking downtown and a motorist stopped me and asked me how to get to SMOC Headquarters at 300 Howard Street. At that time Howard Street was in the midst of heavy construction. I almost told her "You can't get there from here- give up!" Sadly, my statement would not have been much of an exaggeration!
Psalm 32:8 says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye,"
To successfully get around Framingham without losing your sanity and without getting a traffic ticket, you will genuinely need Psalm 32:8!
There Goes the Neighborhood
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