A few months back we wrote a blog about the 15 Best Cut Through Streets In Worcester. This blog is kind of the complement to that one, mainly because without this blog there would be no need for cut through streets. These are the throughways we were showing you how to avoid. We intended on making a Top 10 list of the worst lights in Worcester. But while driving around it was too hard to narrow down. So we made a list of 16 instead. Here are the Top 16 Worst Traffic Lights In Worcester.
Editor’s Note – we took these pictures between 11-1, so obviously traffic will be a million times worse later on. Anyone who’s ever driven through any of these intersections knows exactly what these lights look like during rush hour.
16. Rice Square – Massassoit Rd/Plantation St/Grafton St/Acton St
There’s a million ways you can avoid this light by going down Hamilton Street and banging a right on one of those streets filled with aspiring Grafton Hill rappers. Because if you don’t you’re just gonna see this:
If you time it right you might see a Grafton Hill rap video in progress. But more than likely though you’ll just see a bunch of weeds growing on the sidewalks or if you pass through around 2:00, a bunch of 16 year olds from Worcester East Middle beating the shit out of each other.
15. Cambrdige St/Southbridge St
Cambridge Street is the devil. If you brought the King of Botswana for a cruise down Cambridge Street he’d be giving us tips on how to improve our infrastructure. And this light is basically how Cambridge Street ends. It’s why getting to 146 is such a pain in the ass.
14. Park Ave/Highland St
Highland Street is like Cambridge Street except there’s actually a reason to go there. But that’s the problem. Too many morons. Everyone with a brain is using Institute Road, playing dodge-a-nerd while driving through WPI. The worst is when you’re driving on Park Ave and some idiot is trying to take a left onto Highland Street. Clusterfuck city.
13. Lincoln St/Summer St/290
You can wait at this light for an eternity if you time it right. Especially if you’re getting off the 290 ramp. You’re fucked.
12. Belmont St/290
If you need to get to the highway coming down Belmont Street, these lights are unavoidable, and they always blow. It’s supposed to be a two lane road – LOL. Around rush hour you’re gonna be backed up all the way up to Hooper Street. Watch out for Wanda and those Asian chicks in her basement. They might be free by now.
11. Lincoln Plaza
As of today, this is easily the worst light in the city. But that’s because the Worcester State cheerleading squad could plan construction traffic better than the city of Worcester. It took a half an hour to drive a quarter mile from Hanover Insurance to Country Club Boulevard:
And the worst part about this set of lights is they don’t time any of them, so you’ll almost definitely get stuck behind some fat bastard on his way to Denny’s for mid-day Grand Slam.
10. Foster Street/Green St/Franklin St/McGrath Blvd
Suppose you’re coming from 290 and you wanna go downtown. If you get off on Martin Luther King Blvd you’re gonna hit five million lights. I like to get off at Kelley Square and take Green Street instead. The problem with this is that you have to deal with this God forsaken light.
And every asshole doing the Kelley Square – Midtown Mall Shuffle has to hit the walk button. It’s a rule. I feel like I’ve sat in this tunnel for an eternity. Oh well, at least you get to stare at this magical trash cave while you’re waiting, where there’s a good chance someone’s getting a handy.
9. Lake Ave/Belmont St
I drove through this intersection for the first time since they did the bridge over. I feel like I’m in the future.
I’m sorry, but this is just way too nice for Worcester. Give it a couple years and it will be filled with potholes and broken dreams. If you’re traveling down Belmont Street it’s not bad because it’s a four lane superhighway. But if you’re going down Lake Ave, you’re gonna have a bad time.
8. Belmont St/Plantation St/Shrewsbury St
This magical traffic orgy is a nightmare to deal with, especially if you’re coming from Shrewsbury Street.
or Plantation Street.
And if you’re driving up Belmont Street it’s almost guaranteed that the lights will not be time or coordinated. So you go through a green light, just to sit at another long ass red light 50 feet later.
7. Lincoln Square – Major Taylor Blvd/Belmont St/Highland St/Main St/Lincoln St
Three words – big ass rotary. Boom. I just fixed Worcester’s most complicated intersection. Back in the day Lincoln Square was the nexus of the Woo-niverse (trademark Turtleboy Sports). It took them forever to figure out how to put all these streets together and this was the best they could come up with. But anyone who’s ever been to the Cape during the summer can tell you that nothing is more efficient than a big ass rotary. Five million people get off the Bourne Bridge every day and yet it’s smooth like Country Crock. The only reason there’s traffic on 495 is because some idiot decided to make the world’s skinniest bridge over the canal.
So if you put the world’s biggest badass rotary ever from Salisbury Street to Lincoln Street to Summer Street to Belmont St to Major Taylor Blvd to Main St to Highland St, you would never sit in traffic at this set of lights. The worst part is when you’re traveling west towards Highland and you finally get through the light, there’s a 99% chance you’re gonna be greeted by this:
At rush hour there will be a mad dash to get into that right lane, because we all know that when you get to the top of that hill you’re fucked if you’re still in the left lane. And no one’s letting you in either, so you just gotta give them a dose of your Worcester machismo and cut their ass off.
6. Webster Square – Main St/Webster St/Cambridge St/Mill St
Speaking of lights that are NEVER timed properly, this intersection makes me wanna kill myself. And it’s the only way to get to 146 if you’re coming from that part of the city. Inevitably you will get stuck behind a big ass truck.
So when the light turns green at Mill Street, it will take forever for the truck to accelerate and by the time you get through it, the lights at Main and Cambridge Street will be turning red.
Oh yea, and get read for some construction. Because by law, there must always be construction on Cambridge Street.
5. Tatnuck Square – Pleasant St/Mill St/Chandler St
What a hot mess this shmorgisborg can be around 4:30. This set of lights would single handedly keep me from ever buying a home in Paxton or Rutland. Imagine having to get off at Kelley Square, navigating all the way through bad Chandler Street, and then finally being greeted by a mile long line at the Mill and Chandler Street light on a daily basis. Khrushchev used to use this intersection as propaganda to prove that democracy doesn’t work. And he was right. The main problem is that nudniks park on Chandler Street, so two lanes become one and it bottlenecks, and some idiot is always trying to pull into the CVS, so this little stretch right here turns into a parking lot at rush hour.
4. Hammond St/Main St/May St
Back in the day some hot shot city planner spent all this time developing Lincoln Square. And then someone said to him after he was done, “How bout connecting Hammond Street and May Street?” And he replied, “Fuck that. It’s Main South.” It was either that or they were drunk. Seriously, how freaking hard would it be to connect these two streets? I mean, it’s RIGHT FUCKING THERE!!! They couldn’t just angle these two streets towards each other? What would we do if these two streets actually connected? Where would the Pennywise go??? I don’t think I could live in a city that doesn’t have a place where Worcester’s toothless wonders can trade in their cans for drug money.
P.S. Webster Square, this intersection, and Cambridge/Southbridge have all been on this list. This makes Canterbury Street officially the most pain in the ass street to get to in the Woo.
3. Burncoat St/Milbrook St/290
Burncoat Street? I spent a month there one night!! Seriously though, if you’re coming from Milbrook Street, and you’re trying to go left, you’ll wait at least four rounds of red lights before you finally get through. And if you’re traveling down Burncoat Street there’s a 100% chance that after this light turns green
The next one will automatically be red.
Cuz Worcester’s just fun like that.
2. Foster St/Front St
This light makes me wish I shopped at the Worcester Common Fashion Outlets more so that it didn’t go out of business and get chopped down. Because if I just bought more overpriced crap from the Sport Authority I might not have to sit at this light for an hour. You could eat a four course meal while coming from ANY direction at this light. The best part is it’s about 50 feet away from #10.
1. Chandler St/Park Ave
What else? There isn’t a traffic light that can ruin your day quite like this Godless intersection of humanity. Every major route in Worcester comes together right here. And everyone gets their own turn to go. As if driving down the third world country known as lower Chandler Street isn’t terrible enough as it is. You’re greeted with a wall of traffic all the way down to that place that sells plumbing supplies. And if you’re dumb enough to travel down Park Ave during rush hour, this line is almost guaranteed to be backed up to Leitrims, and some idiot will be sitting in the middle of that intersection blocking traffic for everyone avoiding the Chandler Street light.
And if you’re stuck at this part of the intersection, be prepared to have one of Tracy Novcik’s finest walk up to your car and demand fiddy cent.
So there you have it. The worst lights in Worcester. Honorable mention to Vernon St/290, Chandler/Main/Madison St when some drunkard presses the walk signal for no reason, Winthrop St/Providence St, every light on Grafton Street from Cutler Street to 290, the light to get onto the Mass Pike from 146 and Route 20, and Millbrook St/Gold Star Blvd.
What did we miss?