Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn announces use of cannabis funds for traffic signal improvement

LYNN — Around $200,000 in cannabis host community agreement funds will be used for the improvement of traffic signals, the city recently announced. The intersections that will be focused on are those near retail cannabis stores, according to a press release from the city.

The intersections where the updated traffic signals will be are Western Avenue and Chestnut Street, Maple Street and Chestnut Street, Western Avenue and Mall Street, Western Avenue and Center Street, Western Avenue and Spencer Street, Western Avenue and Summer Street, Western Avenue and Albion Street, and Chestnut Street and Adams Street.

According to City Planner Aaron Clausen, traffic signals have been identified as a deficient aging infrastructure in the city.

“Using these funds gives us the opportunity to implement short-term, low-cost improvements that will improve safety and signal operations at each location,” Clausen said.

Old equipment will be replaced, he said, and there will be updates to signal timing to reflect current traffic patterns and decrease congestion.

“Damaged signal equipment will be replaced, LED lighting will be installed, and pedestrian signals will be replaced and upgraded to countdown signalization as part of the project,” the press release said.

Mayor Jared Nicholson said that improving traffic flow in the designated areas will be beneficial for everyone who uses those intersections.

“This is one way in which the city is putting to good use funding derived from the cannabis establishments,” Nicholson said.

Ward Six City Councilor Fred Hogan said it will make the intersection at South Street and Summer Street safer.

“We are tremendously happy to get some much-needed help in our ward with the total upgrade to the traffic lights at South and Summer Streets,” Hogan said.

According to Clausen, a more extensive improvement project is in the works for that intersection.

“Cannabis mitigation funds will be used for the initial design phase of that project to include a full reconstruction of the intersection and new signal equipment,” the press release said. “The design approach will modernize antiquated signal equipment, improve safety at one of the most challenging intersections in the city, and optimize traffic operations for all roadway users.”

The Broad Street Corridor Project also includes traffic signal improvements, according to the press release.

“Traffic signal upgrades will take place at seven intersections from Broad and Silsbee to Lewis and Autumn Streets,” the press release said.

For those upgrades, the press release said the city has applied for funding through the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Community Connections program.

“That would have a huge impact on the flow of traffic, and improve safety and efficiency for all modes of transportation along the Broad and Lewis street corridor,” Clausen said.

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