The debate between residents of East Way and town officials over changing the name of the roadway continued at the June 4 meeting of the Mashpee Planning Board.
Although the public hearing was much less contentious than the first time the issue was addressed in March, the meeting yielded no definitive decision on the issue, and the name East Way will remain at least through the summer.
East Way is located in the Sandalwood subdivision off Great Neck Road South. The Mashpee Address Working Group, charged with identifying address conflicts that could result in confusion or delays in public safety response, has recommended that East Way be slated for a name change to avoid confusion with East Road, which is located on the north side of town near Sandwich.
More than a dozen roadways in town have been identified for possible name changes.
Assistant Town Manager Thomas J. Mayo, Fire Chief Thomas C. Rullo, and Police Captain Scott W. Carline were in attendance to answer questions from 10 residents in the audience.
Resident John Clark suggested that the town investigate whether a technology exists that would be able to flag similar sounding roadways on software used by dispatchers. He also suggested that changing the name of East Way would actually increase the risk to residents if the new name were not placed in address databases in a timely manner. He also presented to the board a letter signed by all East Way residents that stressed opposition to the proposed name change.
Mr. Mayo, who formerly served as the town’s geographic information systems (GIS) administrator, responded to Mr. Clark by saying that he is not sure that the “flagging” technology exists, but that he would conduct some research. He also said that street name changes that affect emergency response times are given priority for changes in address databases.
Planning board member Mary E. Waygan, who described herself as a “supporter of property taxpayer’s rights,” continues to be a staunch opponent of not changing any roadway names in town. She suggested that, for safety’s sake, every home should have a landline that has a clearly printed address next to it, since local authorities respond immediately to emergency calls made from landlines, whereas cell phone emergency calls may be answered by operators located as far away as Framingham.
“So, Mary, you want us to mandate that everyone in town have a landline?” Mr. Mayo asked, to which she responded that she would just like the town to educate residents about the reliability of landlines for emergency response purposes.
At the request of Mr. Mayo, the hearing on the street name change has been continued until August 10 at 7:10 PM to allow the Sandalwood Residents Association to further discuss the issue at its annual summer meeting.
Mr. Mayo also noted that the town will allow residents to propose their own street names, as opposed to the three options that were initially presented by the town.