Traffic Study Meeting Just One Step of Many

May 22, 2013
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The public meeting that was scheduled Tuesday evening (last night), to unveil a traffic mitigation package for the proposed Wynn Resort Casino on lower Broadway is just one step in a process that will likely take the next few months and be decided by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, if the proposal ultimately is approved.

According to Mayoral Chief of Staff Melissa Rodrigues, the Wynn development team has been busily working on a proposed traffic mitigation package to plan for the additional traffic that a resort casino on the former Monsanto Chemical site could cause for Everett and its surrounding neighbors.

Also involved in the process on behalf of the city, is a “peer reviewer,” who is charged with reviewing the proposed traffic mitigation plans, advocating for additional measures where appropriate and potentially even suggesting alternatives where those make sense as well.

However, despite the Wynn team’s proposals and the peer reviewer’s recommendations, the ultimate traffic mitigation package is going to have to be agreed to by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, because if the plan is not approved by MassDOT and the Commission, the entire proposal could be denied the license.

Tuesday night’s meeting, according to Rodrigues, was to give residents a chance to see what the Wynn team and the city’s consultants are moving toward in terms of proposing traffic improvements that could make soften the impact of additional traffic for Everett and the surrounding area.

Though the traffic plan was not made available for public viewing prior to Tuesday evening (which took place after the Independent’s deadline), Rodriguess did acknowledge that the plan, to this point, mainly offers recommendations for Broadway (Route 99), Revere Beach parkway (Route 16) and some of the other surrounding surface roads.

The plan, said Rodrigues, does not go into detail about the proposal to add a commuter line or light rail stop near to the casino.

“The agreement with the city notes that the developer will ask to have a stop added and the city will support that request, but that decision is up to the T (MBTA) at this point,” noted Rodrigues. “There’s not really too much else to say about that.”

Tuesday night’s meeting, held at the Edward Connolly Center on Chelsea Street was the first public meeting on the traffic plan, but pothers are expected to take place in advance of June’s ballot question vote on the proposed resort casino.