Main Street traffic in Milford is often at a standstill due to excessive volume. A traffic count by MassDOT for the intersection of Main and Cedar shows 22,000 cars per day pass by this area. This is roughly fifty percent more than this road can handle. Traffic volume is high in town.
20,000 – 36,000 additional vehicle trips will be coming from surrounding towns to visit the casino. All regions not convenient to I-495 will need to enter Milford and make their way to the casino via local roads. In addition, employees of the casino will be commuting to work via east and west feeder routes that are convenient to the casino
Increased east/west traffic will exacerbate people’s current frustrations with traffic. Emergency medical, police, and fire operations will be impacted by the increased volume. The addition of traffic volume could very well dissuade people from patronizing local businesses. Timely business deliveries such as those from Oliva’s will be more impacted than they already are.
Yet Foxwoods has estimated minimal disruption to local roads.
We believe there were flaws in the model used to estimate traffic.
MassDOT has asked all engineers on casino projects to use a traffic gravity model to predict where traffic will originate. A simple definition of the Gravity model is that if distance is doubled, the propensity to visit the attraction is four times less likely for any given individual.
Foxwoods engineers, however, did not employ the Gravity model. The engineers explain their methodology in the Traffic Impact and Access Study:
As 90.5 percent of the potential customers of the casino live greater than 30 minutes away, it is not unexpected that approximately 91 percent of all casino related trips will arrive/depart Milford via I-495 from the north or the south. The balance of the traffic, approximately 9 percent, will come from neighboring towns (approximately 7 percent) or from Milford (approximately 2 percent).
So, Foxwood engineers are claiming that since 91% of the potential adults over the age of 21 reside outside the 30-minute drive radius, then 91% of visits will occur from that area? This directly contradicts the gravity model.
The traffic study completed for the proposed Plainville slot casino predicted 42% of casino patrons would come from within a 30-minute drive radius.
Extrapolating data from visits to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun suggests that the percent of customers who visit the Milford casino from a 30-minute drive radius would amount to 36% – not the 9 percent suggested by Foxwoods engineers.
The above count does not include employee traffic. Many local employees of the casino would add to the already congested local roads.
Federal and state permitting will be required for modifications to I-495, as well as Route 16. Planned changes to the roads could be changed further. The plans could also be denied by permitting agencies. Permitting for similar projects have taken 10 years and beyond.