By Matt Morr ’17
A new $2 million stoplight connecting Merrimack’s campus with Royal Crest spanning busy Route 114 is being met with mixed reviews.
“The light is confusing and cars don’t always stop anyway,” said student Meghan Sweeney who lives at Royal Crest. “And when I do cross the street, cars are so eager to keep going that the second I’m past, they drive by sometimes causing me almost to get clipped.”
Student Alex Strempel also lives at Royal Crest. He said the stoplight and crosswalk is “a good step.”
“But for $2 million, you would think they would have come up with a better solution,” Strempel said.
Merrimack spokesman James Chiavelli said the $2 million was split between the college and the state. The intent of the light is to make it safer to cross, but the lights differ from typical stoplight. It’s triangular shape does not have the typical red, yellow and green lights. Instead, the lights are either blank, blink red or are solid red. A blank light means a cars can proceed, a blinking light means drive with caution and a solid red light queues drivers to stop.
The state put up a large digital sign warning drivers about the new crosswalk and signals. Chiavelli said he has not heard complaints from students about the light, but a few from angry drivers.
“Not only do students now stop and wait for the light instead of dodging across four lanes of traffic, but I’ve seen other folks crossing there with baby carriages or leashed dogs,” Chiavelli said.