Sunday, May 10, 2009

Traffic Lights for Four Corners

In 1963, the Middleboro Gazette recorded the coming to downtown Middleborough of that now ubiquitous symbol of "progress" - the traffic light.

Beacons To Slow Through Traffic In The Center

Long awaited as a means of slowing through traffic at the Four Corners, two sets of flashing signal lights were delivered to the Middleboro power station this week. Workers opened the sidewalk at the corner of South Main and Wareham streets yesterday and located a junction box installed several years ago. The lights will be installed at the corner of South Main and Centre streets and the corner of Wareham and North Main streets. When placed in operation, they will flash yellow for traffic approaching the Four Corners from Wareham street and red for traffic approaching from North and South Main streets.

A traffic hazard has existed since Route 44 was re-routed via West Grove and South Main streets from its former layout via Taunton and Centre streets, which required through traffic headed toward Plymouth to slow for a left turn at the Four Corners. When the U. S. marked highway was re-routed, local police complained about speeding through traffic on week ends. It was noted last year that both approaches to the center were devoid of warning signs or signals and several crashes and near crashes resulted.

Source: Middleboro Gazette, July 11, 1963, and November 14, 1963.
The Gazette didn't take too kindly to "those new-fangled traffic lights" at the Four Corners and in November, 1963, it advocated their removal. Forty-six years later, they still remain.
Illustration: Green is for Go!, photograph, May 10, 2009, Michael J. Maddigan.
The photograph depicts the modern stop light on the corner of Center and North Main Streets with the Peirce Block in the background.


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