You have 4 free articles left this month.
Washington Street in Lynn turned into a construction zone for three blocks Wednesday. Oxford Street was blocked off at Central Avenue and traffic slowed to a crawl on Willow and Liberty streets.
Reconstructing and repaving streets and constructing new curbs and sidewalks are periodic municipal projects just as buying new appliances and replacing a roof are unavoidable homeowner expenses.
But advance notice and clear communication about the scope of Wednesday’s street construction work downtown and the resulting traffic congestion and detours were clearly lacking.
Closing Oxford Street to traffic between Central and Washington and Market Street meant missed deliveries and no customer or employee parking for residents and businesses along the street.
How hard would it have been to provide downtown drivers, residents and business owners and employees with advanced notice about the scope and scale of Wednesday’s work?
LED signs, phone calls and emails would have met the threshold of modern communication, but even a few cardboard signs taped to downtown light poles would have done the trick.
Most people understand that street work is a periodic necessity.
Repaving crowded and congested downtown streets means annoyances and inconveniences for everyone who lives, works or drives on those streets. But the irritation could have been lessened if basic attempts at communication and advance notice had been attempted.
The blame for that lack of communication can be spread around with City Hall and downtown road work contractor Allied Paving bearing some of the burden.
The final piece of the nearly yearlong downtown street-repair project is scheduled to come next week when repaving will take place after utilities conduct preliminary street work.
Once the exact date for doing the work is pinned down, the city should provide advance notice on work start times and detours.
Sleek and smooth new streets will be a welcome addition to downtown just as new sidewalks and street lighting have improved the area’s appearance. But downtown businesses and residents should be kept informed about the remaining steps and inconveniences involved in the street project.
Allied Paving is making money off the surfacing and repaving work. In return, the company should certainly do its part to inform residents and businesses about upcoming street closures and paving locations.