With just a month to go before Everett voters will decide if they want a resort casino operating within their city’s borders, consultants working for the casino developer and Mayor DeMaria convened a public meeting to discuss proposed traffic and roadway measures that could mitigate the concerns raised by a development that could bring thousands of visitors per year to Everett.
The hearing was held on Wednesday, May 22 at the Edward Connolly Center, to a nearly packed house, as representatives of Vanasse and Associates working for developer Steve Wynn and World Tech, on behalf of the city, discussed the potential roadway improvements to Route 99 (specifically lower Broadway) and Route 16, especially in and around Santilli and Sweetser circles.
According to the consultants an estimated 58 percent of the traffic impact from the casino would enter the city from Boston and Somerville on Route 99, with another 22 percent coming on Route 16 from Medford and approximately 14 percent traveling in on Route 16 from Chelsea and Revere. Just 2 percent of traffic is expected to come from the portion of Route 99 north of the proposed casino site, with another 2 percent coming from Main Street in Everett and points north of there.
For that reason, the bulk of the proposed traffic and roadway improvements would take place on lower Broadway, especially around the intersection of Horizon Way, which would be built out as the new access road to the casino, and lower Broadway, including a dedicated truck lane that would take the bulk of truck traffic headed northbound on Route 99, off the main street and to the Produce Center on Beacham Street, via a build out of surrounding neighborhood streets.
There were also extensive traffic improvements discussed for Santilli Circle, including a Route 16 flyover that would be built to take through traffic out of the circle and keep it moving through the intersection. Sweetser Circle would be improved as well, with double lanes built out to increase traffic flow into and out of the circle and marked double lanes in the circle itself.
The proposed improvements did not include any mention of Route 16 east or west of Santilli Circle, and no improvements were mentioned for points of north of Sweetser Circle either.
Also, though there was significant discussion of the impact on Sullivan Square, the roadway improvements did not include significant changes to Sullivan Square or I-93 and other points in Somerville.
The presentation also discussed the benefits of the in-process Municipal Harbor Plan, as well as the potential for ferry service to the casino from Boston, Logan Airport and the Boston Convention and Exposition Center (BCEC).
The proposal also includes increased walking and bicycle paths in an around the property and along the Everett waterfront.