Planner seeks insights on Route 6 changes

Nov 13, 2018

MARION — Marion and Mattapoisett residents are being asked to give their input on a new survey which will inform plans for a 13-mile stretch of Route 6. 

The survey is the first of a two phase study that Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) officials are using to address safety concerns on the heavily-travelled highway. The study, initiated by the Marion Master Plan and the Transportation and Circulation Task Force, includes the section of Route 6 from Route 240 in Fairhaven, east to High Street in Wareham. 

The group has already completed an initial study on the data of Route 6: how many people travel the road, how fast they travel and crash rates. Now it is seeking comments from residents to see how they would change the roadway.  

Marion Town Planner, Gil Hilario, said that the Master Plan session brought up a number of complaints about Route 6. “A lot of residents expressed issues with Route 6 and how it’s not walkable, it divides North and South of town, people can bike around town, but once you hit route 6 you can’t cross to the North side of town.”

These complaints prompted the task force to go to SRPEDD, which eventually led to the multi-town study. 

Using the study and comments from residents, officials will identify problem areas and make a plan for improving the road. The study found that between 10,000 to 15,000 people use that stretch of Route 6 daily, crash rates are below state averages and average speeds range from 45 to 55 mph.

Hilario said that it is still early to draw too many conclusions about what residents want, but he can make some observations about traffic patterns. “The data is showing less average daily traffic today than when the road was originally designed in the 70s and 80s when the road was the primary thoroughfare to Cape Cod,” Hilario explained, adding that “people would take this and not 195.”

Residents may review the data, which is available online at SRPEDD’s website.

SRPDD is collecting information and comments from residents who use the road. That information will be compiled and used to develop a vision plan. Questions regarding travel concerns, frequency of use and safety are included in the survey. Once the data is compiled phase two of the project will begin where officials start focusing on the future.

SRPEDD already held a public meeting on the issue in Wareham on Nov. 8. Hilario hopes to use a Nov. 14 Route 6 corridor public meeting as a chance to gain additional resident feedback.

“SRPEDD mentioned that the road is under capacity now,” Hilario said, adding that “Hopefully we can make that argument, and create a road that is meets the needs for the town, which is more pedestrian friendly, and resident friendly.” 

To weigh in on the issue, attend the Route 6 public meeting at ORR from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. or fill out a survey at visit