There's Nothing to Worry About: A Satire
by David Bastille 8/3/13
I've just come from the last of Foxwoods' public presentations, prior to the drafting of a host agreement with Milford. I have to tell you I came away very impressed, and with a change of heart about this thing. I don't know what I was thinking all this time.
You'll recall that Foxwoods wants to build a big resort casino on the Holliston-Milford town line, a stone's throw away from our conservation property. That would give you pause right there, because Holliston can't vote on it and won't get anything out of it. But I tried to go into these four presentations with an open mind, and darned if I wasn't in for some pretty pleasant surprises.
Traffic, for example. I'd mistakenly assumed that casino traffic was going to tie Route 16 up in knots. But the casino's consultants have done all of these studies, and what they show is that almost all the traffic is going to come and go by 495, even your Uncle Nate from Natick. It's really very simple. What they plan to do is eliminate the exits at 109 and 85, and build these "collector-distributor" lanes, same as down in Mansfield at 140, except these are going to be placed in the median strip, not outside, and they'll be much longer, starting below 109 and ending above 85. Except the thru lanes will be the ones in the middle, see? Then there'll be turn-offs to get to 109, and 85, and also 16. That's right! Route 16 is finally going to get its own exit onto 495, just kind of a big four-lane driveway, and the entrance to the casino is going to branch off that road. So that probably means that you (and Uncle Nate) will be able to use 16 to get to 495 whenever you're heading to the Cape. Liking it!
I tell you, it pays to dream big. Actually, it does sound a little like a giant pile of spaghetti, but what do I know. Like I said, they're the experts. The feds and MassDOT are bound to green-light it all, no problem.
What's great about it is that local businesses will benefit too, Even though virtually all the casino traffic will come and go by 495, at the same time, the experts say, there will be tons of extra drivers on the secondary roads to patronize local stores, local restaurants, and... umm, wait a sec, I have to think that one through a little bit more.
Anyhow, you won't see much extra traffic on 16 is what I'm saying. It'll kind of evaporate on its way up from Milford to Holliston. Drivers from places that aren't handy to 495, the buses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, employees' cars, and the thousands of patrons, they'll all just use 495 anyway. They just will! In the end, if traffic does end up varying "substantially" from this scenario, the consultants assure us that "we'll have to look at it." Boy, that's a load off my mind, I can tell you!
As for other impacts, frankly, they go under the heading of "None of Your Business." Still, we can rest assured: our property values won't go down, they'll go up. Only a handful of employees' kids will end up enrolling in grades K-12, and they'll all speak the King's English. Crime will actually go down, because there'll be more police. And the project is quite modest in size, really. Tiny! You'll hardly even know it's there. According to the experts, all the bad stuff you might have heard about casinos, none of it is true. None of it.
Now, you might think that the casino in the Eastern Region is going to be plunked down in Everett or East Boston, right? But look: Boston and Somerville are vowing to block the Everett plan, and a "pro" vote in Boston itself isn't a sure thing by any stretch. If you ask me, Milford is looking more and more like the path of least resistance, the smart choice, the best choice, the only choice.
Whatever. The experts will sort it all out. There's no need to keep an eye on this thing, or pester your selectmen, or go to casinofreemilford.com, or anything. There's nothing to worry about. I said, there's nothing to worry about.
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