The town of Adams is debating whether to change Howland Avenue into two lanes from its current four lane design.

If you’re unfamiliar, Howland Ave. in Adams runs from basically the start of Specialty Minerals where Lime St. comes out to when Curran Highway starts in North Adams right by Bounti-Fare.  I know many people (including myself) consider Howland Ave. to be part of Curran Highway, but it’s technically not.

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It’s no secret that Howland Ave. is in disrepair and needs work done.  The right lanes on both sides are in rough shape, and littered with potholes.  The town of Adams doesn’t have enough state aid or funds to keep up with the repairs, so one line of thinking is to change Howland Ave. into a two-lane highway.  There would also be a ten-foot bike lane, and re-done sidewalks on each side for pedestrians.

The cost of this notwithstanding, I think the biggest question is:  Would a two-lane Howland Ave. be safer for everyone?

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My gut instinct tells me yes, it would be safer.  In theory, it would cut down on speeding, which is prevalent out there, and the cause of many accidents.  It would keep drivers from constantly changing lanes when someone is trying to turn.  It would make repairs cheaper in the long run, with only two lanes to worry about.  And, it would be safer for bikers, who take their lives into their hands if they’re traveling down Howland Ave as it currently is.

As someone who drives that area multiple times a day, I think it’s a good idea to make Howland Avenue into a two-lane highway (assuming cost will be affordable).  Yes, traffic might move a little slower, but to me, I’m fine with that. What do you think?  Do you drive it all the time?  Do you live on one of the side streets?  If you want to leave input, there’s an open house tomorrow (Wed March 23) at Adams Town Hall from 3-7pm.


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