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One lane or two?


Years of confusion on Central Street



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They’ve been doing it this way for at least 30 years, but this lane of Central Street at the Main Street light is not a two-lane way, town officials say. Legally, it’s a one-lane street. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
October 21, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Gerry Borghesi learned a hard way that sometimes what appears to be fact is not.

Back in April, he did what countless Southbridge drivers have done for years — pulled up to the traffic light at Main from Central intending to turn right, while someone else pulled up beside him. When the light changed, however, Borghesi never got the chance to turn right — the other vehicle, which he described as a large pickup towing a trailer, tried it first and hit his car.

After a long wait, Borghesi said police arrived to take statements and ultimately wrote a report blaming him for the accident, but never actually gave him a ticket. He's appealing the resulting costs to his insurance company and took several pictures showing it in use as two lanes.

"Why in this picture do you see everyone in two lanes?" he asked. "… All the people I know say it's been like that for years. If you sit in the middle to wait for the light, you get everybody beeping behind you."

Borghesi's situation highlights a longstanding problem — Central Street is legally just one lane in either direction.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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