A coming traffic nightmare Is nearly upon us?

The expected opening of the casino at the end of June is going toresult, at least in the short term – for the first six months – with a trafficnightmare none of us have prepared ourselves for or maybe not.

After all, how do you prepare for an onslaught of traffic such as thereis expected to be if the casino opens at the end of June as expected?

It is a bit like trying to prepare for a tsunami or a cyclone.

It is one thing to know a potential traffic nightmare is almost upon us. It is quite another thing to prepare ourselves for it without knowing exactly how great a problem it is going to be when the doors open. No one right now can predict with any accuracy what the level of traffic difficulty will be when the casino opens.

The general belief, the smart money assumption is that traffic is going to be horrendous and that local parking will be effected dramatically. The onslaught of traffic and parking headaches in Wards 1 and 6 are going to be tough obstacles to overcome if the casino and hotel are successful, and we believe it will be successful.

What to do?

Everett’s traffic and parking guru where the rubber meets the road is Sgt. Joe Gaff.

Gaff informed the council last week with the mayor’s chief of staff seated beside him that it is impossible to predict the extent of the disaster before the disaster unfolds.

He knows of what he spoke.

What he was saying is that despite all the millions being spent by Wynn Resorts on reconstructing roads and building new parking lots, the roads will be filled with traffic and parking will be tight.

Casino traffic will not appreciably effect early morning rush hour traffic heading into Boston passing by the front of the Encore facility.If 5,000 or so employees work the facilities, they all don’t work at the same time – so that part of the added traffic is staggered.

The big imponderable – how many thousands of visitors are going to flock here to the casino and hotel in a given day or during a Friday-Sunday weekend?

How many thousands will come Monday-Thursday?

These are the imponderables. What is not an imponderable is when the crush is going to begin.

Right now that question is set to be answered beginning at the end of June.

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