Video: Exit 19 Public Meeting, 6/14/10; $10 Million to Save Two Minutes

Here is a complete video of the 6/14/10 public meeting on Exit 19. This video is 2 hours 17 minutes long and was recorded by Adam Cohen. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and its consultants presented the current concepts under consideration (PDF, 34MB) and took questions from the audience. The concepts which incorporated three-story-tall “flyover” ramps did not appear to be popular with most of the audience. Concerns included noise, visual impact, land takings, and cost.

MassDOT projections of 1% traffic growth per year were challenged. Audience members observed that UMass is doing more and more teaching online, and that consumers are doing more of their shopping online.

The presenters estimate that the full-access interchange concepts (C15, C15A, C18) have the potential to shave two minutes off the time it takes to exit the highway and reach the center of downtown Northampton (see video starting at 1:17:00). These concepts are estimated to cost from $12.8 million to $35.0 million. The concepts preferred by the Project Advisory Committee (C12-C13C), are estimated to cost $3 million or less. The PAC includes local citizens.

MassDOT maintains a website on the project at


See also:

Exit 19 Presentation for June 14 Meeting: Comparing the Concepts
In preparation for the June 14 public meeting on Exit 19 (6pm, Bridge Street School Cafeteria), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has made available its presentation (PDF, 34MB) and Summer 2010 Fact Sheet (PDF) for download. This is a key meeting. All concerned citizens are urged to attend.

These slides from the presentation appear to show that Concepts 13A, 13B and 13C reduce delays to a similar extent as Concepts 15, 15A, 16, 17 and 18, but with a much lower impact on the surrounding neighborhood and a much lower cost.

Gazette: “Consultants air designs for Exit 19 improvements” (6/14/10)
The meeting, which drew more than 80 people to Bridge Street School’s cafeteria, involved a brief presentation of 12 different designs being considered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and drafted by TranSystems, a company from Kansas City, Mo., that has spent the last six months reviewing and updating traffic studies conducted in the last decade…

Before revealing its recommended design choice, [Project Advisory Committee] member Frank Werbinski said the committee’s aim was to find an alternative that closely matched the interchange’s current footprint, required the use of as little land as possible, was safest for pedestrians and cyclists and did not disrupt the floodplain or nearby agriculture…

…the group recommended concepts 12 and 13, the two cheapest designs.

Artvoice: “Too Many Stores” (5/27/10)
At the Urban Land Institute and at many other institutes and think tanks, and in the real-estate industry’s own publications, there’s a growing consensus that there is way, way too much square footage devoted to retailing…

Two market research specialists named Gruen, writing in the most recent volume of the Urban Land Institute’s cleverly titled journal Urban Land, wave the caution flag about retail stores. Mayors and other officials who are trying to revive downtowns in small cities, they warn, had better pay attention to some demographic shifts and behavioral changes in the post-recession world…

Internet retailing accounted for [six] percent of all sales in 2009, up from five percent in 2008. By 2013, Forrester Research, in another study, predicts the internet will jump to an eight percent share…

Video: May 10 Meeting of the Exit 19 Project Advisory Committee