, Gloucester, MA


July 15, 2013

Fishtown Local: Which side are you on?

They say they’re going to take it away soon. But when?

The misguided speed control effort on Eastern Point has caused more chaos than it was designed to counter. And the unhelpful speed reader machine has been parked in the most ridiculous place for weeks now, continuing to cause near accidents and reveal exactly nothing to truculent speeders.

The Eastern Point Association and the Gloucester Police Department positioned the speed measuring machine right between the gates and the first speed bump. The silly thing was close enough to the bump that the cars were all doing under 10 mph by the time the lights lit up the speed stat. They were already slowing down, see?

But what did that matter, because only a third of the bulbs worked so you couldn’t read it even if you were speeding. It was also causing such a disruption by taking up a decent chunk of the lane that it caused a traffic jam by the gates when there was more than one car at a time — which is constant.

Try working two large trucks plus a bike and a dog walker in one lane and three small trucks and me in the other lane. We’re talking single-file cooperation here because there wasn’t enough room to pass two side-by-side. Trouble in paradise?

They addressed that. They moved it — to the other side of the bump!

Now it gets you just after you’ve rolled over the bump so you’re recorded at about 3 mph, that is, if more than three bulbs are working on the thing. I wanted to put a “Kick Me” sign on it’s back. But while it is still blocking its lane, there is a situation created where two opposing cars have to decide who has right-of-way when they approach each other with this obstruction in the way.

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