Watertown News Poll: People Most Concerned About Traffic, Development

Print More


The Town Council is working on ways to cut traffic in Watertown by requiring new developments to reduce single driver vehicles.


Traffic was the biggest concern for participants in the Watertown News Poll.

Residents are most concerned about traffic/transportation and development, a poll conducted by Watertown News at Saturdays Faire on the Square found. 

People were asked “What concerns you most in Watertown Today,” and participants could check one or more of these five issues, and could write in their own issue:

  • Schools
  • Development
  • Traffic/transportation
  • Heroin/opioids
  • Property Taxes
  • Or, add their own write-in issue

A total of 28 ballots were cast at Saturday’s Faire on the Square, and the top issue, with 19 votes, was Traffic/Transportation.

A close second was Development, which received 16 tallies. Next was Schools, with 11 votes.

Heroin/Opioid use in Watertown received 9 votes, and Property taxes got 8 votes.

Four people wrote in their own issues: Open Space/Recreation, Public Events, Gentrification and the Elderly.

The results were slightly different from 2016 when Development got the most votes, followed by Traffic/Transportation, Schools, Property Taxes and Heroin/Opioids.

More people participated last year, with 49 ballots cast.

10 thoughts on “Watertown News Poll: People Most Concerned About Traffic, Development

    • Main St. No No NO!
      How about someone taking care of the forgotten streets like Fayette and Winter where we don’t even have sidewalks in many areas. Have you tried to walk down Winter Street to the library? Dangerous. Should be a one way street but nobody seems to care about us little side streets.
      Apparently money & connections talk in this town which is why a street Palfrey st, which was in fine shape before, was all repaved with new sidewalks yet Winter or Fayette are not ever dealt with.
      When are the forgotten streets going to be not forgotten anymore?

  1. David our house didn’t have a curb for many years & in my effort to get a granite curb (switching to granite curbs was extremely popular w/residents during the Comprehensive Plan sessions in 2014 adopted by Watertown in June 2015) I learned some interesting & very frustrating information about how Watertown decides which streets to pave each year:
    -Every year Watertown DPW does a tour in the spring & makes a list of the streets most in need of repaving/repair
    -That list is then cross referenced with notices that the utilities have sent informing the town of where they are planning work that requires digging & any streets w/major work planned by the utilities have to wait until that work is completed (Edenfield was delayed for this reason but now looks like it’s getting the complete streets treatment – not sure that’s a good thing but at least it’s finally getting paved)
    -The whittled down list goes to the committee on public works ALONG WITH ANY UN-REPAIRED STREET FROM ALL PREVIOUS YEARS’ LISTS that are also not in conflict w/utility work (I thought that it’d be the same streets year after year but apparently construction, utility work, snow & plows frequently send new streets to the top of the list each year).
    -The subcommittee w/a lot of input from Gerry Mee works within the existing budget to identify ~10 streets for the next fiscal year (July 1)
    –>Watertown’s budget has a line item for road work that covers about 10 streets being repaved (depending on how big the streets are & if they need full depth reconstruction or just milling) I was told that Watertown is actually great for doing this because Belmont doesn’t have any line item in their budget which is why their streets are even worse than ours.
    -The annual list typically far exceeds 10 streets, at the 2016 subcommittee meeting, lists from 5 previous years all had streets that still needed attention
    My street isn’t getting granite curbs or repaved anytime soon but after I wrote to my district councilor, all four at large councilors, TC President & DPW, called the town manager’s office & attended town council & several subcommittee meetings, an asphalt berm curb was installed in front of my house less than 2 years ago & has already cracked & started to deteriorate (from car tires hitting it which is what it’s meant to withstand).

    Watertown, let’s build sidewalks where they should exist, fix our roads & stop wasting time & money w/asphalt berms & put in granite curbs that residents have said that they want.

    Charlie, I think that you could run some very insightful polls even if they’re not scientific

    • I agree it is a small sample. I think that is why Jeanne suggested an online poll.

      I will say, however, the answers confirm what I hear from people I talk to and comments people make at public meetings. Traffic and development are the biggest concerns among Watertown residents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *