Charlie Medeiros Way approved

WESTFIELD – The City Council voted 11-1 Thursday night to rename Summit Locke Road to Charlie Medeiros Way.
Councilor Mary O’Connell cast the only vote against the measure, citing a letter from Police Chief John Camerota to the traffic commission, and the wishes of former councilor Medeiros’ brother.
“They did not come out in favor of this,” O’Connell said of the traffic commission. “Camerota said if the commission agreed to support this, he’d mandate both (Summit Locke and Charlie Medeiros Way) signs would remain for a year.”
Camerota said at the time that it would take a while for the GPS systems to update the new name.
O’Connell said she received a phone call from Medeiros’s brother Kevin asking her to convey the family’s thoughts on this.
“As flattering as it was, he felt it was not a good idea,” she said.
The change was originally requested by Councilor Richard Onofrey to help alleviate a major concern on the similarly named residential street, Summit Drive.
“I made this motion a couple of months ago because we had a regular and disturbing influx of tractor trailer trucks making their way to Summit (Drive),” said Onofrey.
The problem is drivers are searching for “Summit” on their GPS devices and going to the first address that comes up, Onofrey said.
“They get up into Knollwood and they get stuck,” he said. “They try to turn in people’s yards – it’s a bad public safety issue.”
Summit Drive is off of Knollwood Drive, which is located off of Pontoosic Road. The area is entirely residential.
Onofrey said the number one reason to make the name change is to take care of the problem, then joked that the number two reason is “this will get Charlie his ‘way’ and it’s on his old stomping grounds in ward one.”
Onofrey said he’s received calls from residents of Summit Drive asking why the problem has not been addressed.
Councilor James Adams said there was some concern about the businesses on Summit Locke Road having to change all their materials to a new address. He said Thursday that he heard from businesses there who are willing to make the change.
“It’s easier for a few businesses on Summit Locke than for the residents to change the name,” said Adams.
An amendment was passed to keep both the Summit Locke and Charlie Medeiros Way signs intact for one year before the name change was approved.
In June, the traffic commission failed to vote on a recommendation to make the change. The vote came following a discussion by the commission members and an offer from a C&S Wholesale Grocers official to work with the city to resolve the issue.
Initially the city considered changing the name of Summit Drive, but residents presented a petition to the City Council opposing that option because of the cost and effort to change all of the documentation, passports, driver licenses, bank and mortgage accounts, legal documents such as wills, medical records and other personal identification, associated with a street name change.
During that June traffic commission meeting, Attorney Jeanne Burns of the C&S compliance and governmental relations office, raised similar concerns.
“C&S has an express interest in working with the city to come to a resolution to this traffic issue,” Burns said. “Changing the (road) name will not immediately remedy the problem.”
“C&S would like to work on other measures, such as more signage, to reduce the traffic going to the other end of the city,” Burns said, adding that the miscues delay receipt of the products being brought in by truck, a fact that has a negative impact on C&S operations.
“We would like to see the name remain the same,” she said. “It does place a burden on C&S to change all of its corporate documentation, to notify all of the trucking companies.”
“We all have a common interest in resolving this problem,” Burns said.
Commissioner Thomas Liptak, the business representative on the board, said he has talked to several of the smaller business about the proposed name change and potential impact on business operations.
“Initially their response was ‘so what’ but after thinking, about it they were more concerned,” Liptak said.
City Engineer Mark Cressotti, also a commission member, said that the city have a vested interest in the issue because of the cost and effort associated with changing all of the city’s legal documents.
“There are a number of city documents that will need to be updates and this would be the second name change for that street, originally it was Buck Pond Road,”
Cressotti said that the documentation change would have to go back through two layers of legal and engineer records to annotate a new name.
“I have difficulty with changing the name because a lot of things are attached,” he said. “I don’t favor it, or oppose it, I think we should stay out of it.”
Public Works Superintendent Jim Mulvenna, also a commission member, said that two signs were erected on both Knollwood and Robinson drives, the two access roads leading to Summit Drive, stating that motorists were entering a residential area and that commercial trucks are prohibited.
“There is a small notice at the bottom of the sign that tells the trucks ‘C&S is not located here’,” Mulvenna said.
Mulvenna made the motion to give a positive recommendation with the condition that the signs on Knollwood and Robinson drivers remain in place for a year or two.
Camerota called for a second. None was offered at that meeting.
The City Council moved forward with, and approved, the measure Thursday night.

To Top