A Progress Report On Watertown's 'Road Diet'

A Progress Report On Watertown's 'Road Diet'

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Last summer, Washington Street underwent what is called a "road diet." The lanes in the road were reduced from four to two with a turn lane in the middle.

The changes were made to make crossing the street safer for students at Watertown High School and Wiley Middle School.

"At this point, things are going pretty well. Since day one, things have been going extremely well after making a few tweaks in the beginning and I'd like to hear from the city. They had a progressive plan and they kind of wanted to see how the plan worked before they made any more adjustments," said Patti LaBarr, district superintendent.

Other people say the changes have slowed things up and one parent told us that he doesn't see much difference.

"The change has made a little bit more congestion and confusion with the kids in the lots and where people should drive. I don't think it's any safer in the lot for the children coming in from parked cars and drop-off and it is definitely slower for people coming in and getting off," said Paul Millard, who has 3 children at the high school.

LaBarr says one of the remaining improvements to the recent traffic pattern change would be a green traffic arrow signal that turns left into the high school at the intersection of Washington Street and Brook Drive.

"A few things I have noticed from being in the area when you are coming south on Washington Street and you are taking a left turn into Watertown High School, there are some times when you have to wait for several lights to enter the high school depending on the time of day, so there is an opportunity there to perhaps put a green arrow," she said.

LaBarr also said that it's up to the city to decide what further changes need to be made to the traffic patterns on Washington Street.

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