Man About Canton: South Coast Rail ProjectBy Joe DeFelice
DID YOU KNOW …
The $1.9 billion South Coast Rail Project that would extend the railroad line from Canton and Stoughton through Easton, Raynham, and Taunton, then split into two lines, one to New Bedford and one to Fall River, is moving ahead as several crucial studies (according to the Boston Herald) have recently been completed. The new line is expected to serve approximately 8,000 to 9,000 people daily. Thirty-eight trips a day to Boston’s South Station are anticipated, according to the report on the project. It is interesting to note that the proposed location of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian’s Casino is about a half mile from the proposed Taunton rail stop.
Route 24, which opened in 1952, is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Massachusetts. The 43-mile-long road, once known as the Fall River Expressway, starts at the Route 128/93 split in Randolph and travels through a section of Canton to Freetown/Fall River. During the past 12 months, 11 people have died in crashes on Route 24. And according to statistics compiled by the Brockton Enterprise during 2009 (the most recent year available on crash data), there were 629 crashes, with 62 in Stoughton and 61 in Avon near the Central Street exits. Exit 13 (Route 44/Taunton) and Exit 12 (Route 140) top the list with 113 and 100 crashes in 2009. One of the reasons cited for so many accidents is the majority of the 30 exits are short and sharp and merging onto Route 24, and the off-ramps leave drivers with a major problem of merging safely.
State police recently announced they are tripling patrols on Route 24 on Friday and Saturday nights through September. In the first weekend, they caught nine suspected drunk drivers and issued 222 citations to drivers. In the second weekend, they arrested 10 suspected drunk drivers and issued 262 citations to drivers.
Selectmen recently approved transferring $15,000 from its mitigation accounts to help Pop Warner Football finish its outside lighting project at the Kennedy School playing fields.
A traffic study done in 2007 showed an average traffic volume of 4,100 cars per day (and 4,800 when school is in session) on York Street. Since May of this year, 306 citations have been issued by Canton Police on York Street, considered one of the most hazardous streets in Canton.
The Franklin Park Zoo will celebrate its centennial (100th birthday) this year. This past year, more than 400,000 people visited the many animal, bird, and butterfly exhibits.
Also celebrating its 100th birthday is the Messinger Street Playground. In 1912, Arthur Cabot handed over the deed of a 4.5-acre parcel of land along with a check for $10,900 to establish the Canton Playground Fund for continuous care, maintenance, and program planning. The Canton Garden Club recently planted a beautiful floral display at Messinger’s old water trough.
The Voters for the Preservation of Canton have been canvassing the town hoping to collect 800 valid signatures (5 percent of the town’s registered voters) to put the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) back on the local ballot for the November 6 presidential election. Canton voters in the April town election defeated the measure, but supporters of the act are asking its opponents to reconsider. The Canton ballot question will include the same funding source, a 1 percent surcharge each year on your property tax bill. Exemptions will include low-income property owners and the first $100,000 of residential real property. Commercial property owners may also be exempt if the town decides to do so. The state legislature recently passed a law extending the exemption to commercial property owners.
The average television screen has increased 60 percent to 36 inches in 2011, up from 22 inches in 1997.
Comedienne Phyllis Diller celebrated her 95th birthday on July 17 and swimmer/actress Esther Williams celebrated her 91st birthday on August 8.
Vicki Kilduff, the 44-year-old meter maid who was struck down by enraged MBTA bus driver Lataria Milton, is a resident of Canton. She has hired Attorney Jeffrey Denner of Boston and her brother, Attorney Kevin Kilduff of Hingham, to look into the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the MBTA and the bus driver.
MAC recently came across an old Canton newspaper dated December 10, 1954. On the sports page, the headline read, “Trayers stars as freshmen beat Dedham 42 to 22.” In the game, Bob Trayers scored 24 points and “was outstanding at the foul line getting a total of 18 points out of a possible 20 shots” (even today’s pros have trouble doing that). Next best for Canton was DiBenedictus with 10 points, Lerner with five, Hagan with two, and Darling with one point. Also playing for Canton were Pendergast, Citrano, Carroll, Graves, Kincaide, and MacLennon. The above names can be found in the Canton High School class of 1958.
Offered a new pen to write with, 97 percent of all people will write their own name.
You raze the old to raise the new.
This is all for now folks. See you next week.
Joe DeFelice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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