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Residents call for closure of Bailey Drive to traffic

Dozens of residents and their children from the Bailey Drive neighborhood attended the traffic commission meeting Wednesday to voice their concerns over a pattern of unsafe driving in the area. (Photo by Peter Currier)

WESTFIELD- The Traffic Commission Wednesday heard from residents to do something about what they say is daily traffic through Bailey Drive with cars that drive dangerously through the neighborhood. 

Several residents called for the closure of Bailey Drive to through-traffic because of how often trucks speed through the neighborhood, often doing damage to some of the properties.  Bailey Drive resident John Glynn said that people leaving the distribution centers on Servistar Industrial Way around 3 p.m. each day are the worst offenders. 

“There’s a bus stop where, when the kids get off of the bus, it’s right at the bottom of Sammy Lane where there’s a crossway coming through, and the cars just come down Sammy Lane really fast. They don’t look, they just peel around the corner.” said Glynn. 

He added that, in the last three years, he has had cars rip up the grass on his lawn multiple times. 

“On the weekend the kids are everywhere. They’re all over the street and there is just too much traffic.” said Glynn, adding that he has begun recording traffic incidents with a security camera.

Glynn and other residents said that when they call out the drivers going down their streets dangerously, they get rude responses, and are often just “flipped off.” 

Kimberly Eggleston, who also lives on Bailey Drive, said that the problem is not specific to Bailey Drive, but to that entire neighborhood. 

“I’ve been running with my kids. I go on bikes with my kids.” said Eggleston. “They [the drivers] are flying around that corner and they can’t see you walking, they can’t see you driving, they can’t see anything. I think everybody can attest that we have all almost been in head-on collisions going around that corner.”

She added that she has a video of an 18-wheeler truck trying to go over a nearby bridge that trucks are prohibited from using last week. Eggleston and Glynn both made complaints that they find empty nips of alcohol along the road, leading them to believe some of these people could be drinking and driving through a neighborhood of children. They also added that one part of the road slowly gets overtaken by weeds, effectively narrowing the usable driving lane for everybody.

They also claimed that when a police car is present and patrolling the street, a driver will take notice and warn others behind them to stay clear of that neighborhood. 

“I got flipped off at the school bus stop the other day,” said Eggleston. “It’s ridiculous.”

Dozens of the residents in attendance at the meeting called for the road to be closed to through-traffic with cinder blocks to end the dangerous driving in the area. 

The Traffic Commission tabled the discussion so that they could consult the Westfield Fire Department on the logistics of closing off the road.

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