One of the biggest issues Mohegan Sun has faced so far with their proposed $1 billion casino resort is traffic. This week, town residents got to see what the casino believes is a $20 million solution to the problem.
Beginning Thursday, residents received a flyer in the mail from Mohegan, which contains the proposed traffic plan for the casino entrance across from the Mass Pike exit. The flyer states the solutions, which include eight lanes on Thorndike Street, were verified and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
"As long as they widen it up as they show it here, I think it will definitely work," said Shan Warren, a Palmer resident for the last 12 years.
Warren had yet to see the flyer when CBS 3 showed it to him Thursday afternoon.
"They did a good job thinking of this ahead of time, because that is a rough exit to get off of at rush hour with no casino," said Warren. "I think it looks pretty decent looking at it for the first time."
Other residents who support the casino believe this is a good step, but expect more from the company.
"I'm sure they will propose other things also towards the town and the surrounding communities, for it to be beneficial to Palmer and the surrounding towns," said Palmer resident Mark Walker.
Residents who oppose the proposed casino said the announced traffic plan does not do enough to sway them to the other side. Not only do they want to see how other areas of town are affected, they still have issues that do not deal with traffic.
"I have studied this and over time, it just creates poverty and addiction," said Sherry Pascale. "That is something I don't want to see my great-grandchildren subjected to."
Residents will go to the polls on Nov. 5, to vote for or against the host community agreement.
Mohegan Sun is competing with MGM in Springfield for the lone casino license in Western Massachusetts.
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