Necn Investigates: Business Park Traffic Problems Persist

Traffic was maybe a little bit better Wednesday evening in the Wells Avenue office park in Newton, Massachusetts. It was still not great, but there are some steps being taken to help.

For the past month, snow banks and uncleared curbs have wreaked havoc on most of Greater Boston - and the place where necn's team works is no exception.

On the station's home of Wells Avenue, for several weeks, traffic coming and going during rush hour and beyond has been treacherous, turning a three-quarter-mile loop into a parking lot that can take an hour to navigate, leading to missed meetings and extended daycare needs.

But don't take it from us.

"It's very frustrating," said Sue Daviau, who works on Wells Avenue. "It takes a long time sometimes to just get out of the parking lot, and no matter which way you go, you're going to get stuck in it. It's typically about an hour."

"I normally stay at work and wait it out. Leave about 7," said Dan Kestenbaum, who also works on Wells Avenue.

"It's not too bad. I mean, I wish I could get home faster, but it's not the worst thing in the world," said Jake Rogers, who works out at the gym in the complex.

Positive attitudes are much harder to find than brake lights.

In addition to the snow, and the bottleneck leading to Nahanton Street, is a three-year project to create a new exit off I-95 at Kendrick Street in Needham, which, for now, takes one of two westbound lanes going up the hill over a bridge.

Leaders are now taking notice, meeting Thursday morning to discuss a way to resolve what Newton Mayor Setti Warren calls "a very serious problem for Newton and Needham."

"We know how traffic congestion has adversely affected those who travel to and from the Wells Ave. office park and are doing all we can to ameliorate the problems," he added.

"Looks like they plowed the sidewalk area and put up some no parking signs, so hoping it's better today," said Jennifer Bardorf, picking her kids up at gymnastics.

There has been some remediation already - the exit has been widened, a partial parking ban has been set and police detail has been put in place outside the Russian School of Mathematics.

But starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the backup was already clogging the road. Two hours later, it was worse.

"It's hard because a lot of times, you have kids in tow, and you have to get all the kids out, bring them all in and get them all back to the car," said Quyen Chu, picking her kids up from math school. "It just takes twice as long."

Each year, $3.4 million in property taxes come from this office park to the city each year.

Mayor Warren says the specifics of what's being done will be announced within 24 hours.

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