Letter to the Editor: New Housing Developments Will Worsen Bedford Traffic

Submitted by Lisa Litchfield

As you may have heard, there are many new developments happening in our town.  Some have already started construction and others are waiting approval.  I am very concerned about the traffic impact this will have on many, if not all, roads in our town.

Developments waiting approval:

  • 139 proposed units (113 rentals) on Carlisle Road with over 220 parking spots
  • 14 acres behind Northside convenience gas station to be developed after the 139-unit Carlisle Road housing development, if approved.
  • Almost 500,000 square feet of hangar space (27 new hangars) at Hanscom Airfield off Hartwell Rd (across from the Edge).  The plan currently shows 240 parking spots for that project. 
  • Old Billerica Road development (between 13-17 units)

Developments already begun construction:

  • South Road assisted living project (92 beds)
  • South Rd & Summer St.  – 20 new apartments
  • Mixed use retail and housing next to the DPW (old Papa Gino’s site): 16 apts/condos

It is frightening to think how much longer it could take to get through Bedford from one end to the other.  Whether it is just dropping your kids off at school or going out to do daily errands around town, it will most definitely be more frustrating once these developments are completed.   In addition, our rush hour traffic, which is already bad, will be worse for sure.  Adding numerous additional lights which include crosswalk buttons will not help the situation (unfortunately, crosswalk buttons tend to back up traffic).

After attending the informational session about the Carlisle Road Development on Tuesday night, February 14, the developer, Brian DeVellis, when questioned about the traffic problems that will arise if his development gets approved, did agree that the issues arising from the additional traffic coming from Carlisle Road into the intersection at Northside convenience may not be solvable.     

Bedford is not able to fix the current traffic problems as is, never mind when these proposed developments are built.  We are a small town that cannot accommodate hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of more car trips each day.  

Our town already feels the effect of too much traffic and with all these new developments it will certainly have an ever-lasting negative effect on our town. 

Please voice your concerns to the Select Board!

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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Catherine Van Praagh
February 27, 2023 7:05 pm

People living in Bedford aren’t the largest problem. Each night, tons of traffic cuts through town, trying to avoid the mess on Rtes 2, 3 and 95 while heading home. Refusing to build here will lead to higher housing costs and more cut-through traffic as people drive to the towns they can live in.

Paul J Bradford
February 26, 2023 9:34 pm

Traffic in Bedford is currently very moderate at rush hour. We need more housing in Bedford, and all Eastern Massachusetts communities. The new state law to mandate more housing near MBTA stations will be a good start, if it’s enforced.

Tim Bennett
February 26, 2023 12:41 pm

It is nothing short of alarmism to suggest that these developments will have large impacts on traffic in Bedford. Most of the projects you mention are far away from areas that experience the brunt of traffic currently, isolated to the edge of town at Hartwell and Carlisle.

March 1, 2023 8:18 am
Reply to  Tim Bennett

This project is on Carlisle Road . Traffic now is stopped in the morning regularly . To think this size project here is not going to make traffic worse is wrong . Bedford has done a good job with housing . A smaller project of home ownership here would be fine and for a change, . welcomed.

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