As the Great North Avenue Paving Project progressed last week, many drivers waited
patiently resignedly fumingly furiously for a single lane of traffic to move.
But some folks found a silver lining in the truckloads of asphalt spreading slowly on one of the major roads in town.
Staff and students heading to Staples cruised from Cross Highway through Wakeman Park, past the rarely-opened gate at the end of the Bedford Middle School lot, and into the high school campus near the swimming pool.
Gone were interminable waits at the not-quite-aligned North Avenue/Cross Highway intersection. Forgotten was the half hour or so crawl a quarter mile to the Staples entrance, capped by a final obstacle and difficult moral dilemma: allow entering traffic from Terhune Drive into your path, or stare straight ahead and pretend you don’t see it?
One teacher said his commute — normally 45 minutes — was slashed to 23, thanks to the Bedford cut-through.
So why isn’t the Bedford/Staples gate always open — not all day, mind you, but just during the morning rush hour (and at 2:15, to shunt homeward-bound traffic away from the only other outlet, North Avenue)?
Apparently, when Bedford was built, wise men and women understood there had to be an entrance/exit other than North Avenue.
But Cross Highway neighbors objected to what they feared would be increased traffic. Hence, the Bedford/Staples gate.
The result inconveniences hundreds of drivers every day — including those with no connection at all to Staples.
We’ll save our rants about other “neighborly” issues for another time. Like the 1 or 2 families on North Pasture who objected to the “noise” from noontime recess at Bedford, leading to the removal of outside basketball hoops.
Or the decades-old opposition — from a few High Point Road residents — to lights on the Staples football field.
We’ll discuss those stories later. Right now we have to leave, to beat the traffic and get to school on time.