Once illegal short cut, now just the way

MassDOT widens road, allows for "legal" right turn

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The 22News I-Team exposed some bad driving in February, now the MassDOT has reacted by making a new right of way.

Once a short cut, now just the way. For years, if you got on the Turnpike Access Road off Memorial Drive in Chicopee, you had to get on the turnpike at Exit Five, but not all drivers obeyed the signs.

“I’ve done it before, I used to live in Chicopee, that’s why i’ve done it before,” said Ludlow’s Harry Lorenz.

He wasn’t the only one, an I-Team investigation in February showed 40 cars make an illegal right turn in an hour. That left turn only sign has now been replaced with right lane must turn right sign.

Drivers can now legally use the Turnpike access road to go from Memorial Drive to Montgomery Street.

“It’s kind of been happening since I was younger, even my parents did it when I was younger, it was kind of a long time coming, they probably should have done it before,” said Lindsay Desotell of Holyoke.

MassDOT widened the the Turnpike Access Road at Exit 5 in Chicopee between Memorial Drive and Montgomery Street and a right turn sign was added. A MassDot spokesperson told 22News this road work allowed them to connect the two roads with a safe turning movement. For those who weren’t cutting through already, it should cut a minute or two off your commute.

“Most definitely a lot of time, a lot of time, yes it does,” said Springfield’s Patrice Horton.

We still saw some near misses out there as some drivers are confused by the new traffic pattern, so be patient out there for a few weeks.

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