By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

CHELMSFORD (CBS) – Some Chelmsford residents saw some double lines that made them do a double take.

“We were on vacation we came home and I couldn’t believe I saw lines on this street,” said Christine Sartori. “I was shocked.”

A July paint job on Robin Hill Road and High Street left yellow lines in the middle of a designated scenic street. The lines ended up dividing more than the street with neighbors disagreeing on what was safer.

“I believe they don’t give pedestrians any space at all,” said Sartori. “Before when there were no lines they would at least veer to the other side of the road.”

“I feel safer when I’m on the road,” said Steve Incorpora. “It’s hard when you turn these corners. I think we have a lot more to worry about in this town like building a new fire station instead of using money to erase lines that I think are safe.”

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

Town officials say the stripes came as a surprise because subcontractors slipped up.

Work crews painting part of Robin Hill Road were supposed to stop at a bike path, but kept going for nearly three extra miles.

High Street resident John Tubridy said he and about 150 of his neighbors signed a petition to get the road back to black.

Tubridy said they ruin the feel of the neighborhood and cause drivers to treat the road more like a highway and driver faster.

“It’s about safety,” said Tubridy, referring to pedestrians and bikers. “Less people are out because of the danger.”

The petition worked, and the board of selectman ordered to remove the lines before winter.

They’re now looking at the most cost efficient way to erase the mistake. It cost $2000 to paint the lines in the first place and it will take at least a couple thousand more to take them off.

Comments (25)
  1. cc says:

    seriously??? this is an issue and a new story?

  2. Paul says:

    I don’t understand the issue. If the contractor “slipped up”, why would it be a cost to the town to get the road back to the way it was. The contractor is responsible to return the road to its original state. If it is the Town official, who “slipped up” then it would be the at the town’s expense.

    1. Ashley Rescott says:

      I agree with you completely! Make the contractor fix it at his own expense!

  3. Kris Haight says:

    I’m wondering why this is an issue. I’d *want* a double line on a scenic road, to control traffic better. The article states just that, it helps with keeping people ON the road and in their own lane. ALL road should have lines on them, not just major ones. There’s a lot of dumb drivers out there who don’t know where their lane is, and when its OK to pass. The line tells them so.

  4. Lisa Richards says:

    Seems to me that the contractor should be responsible for the “mistake”. I mean really, you’d think they would have figured it out before 3 miles was up?

    The problem with a double yellow line is that the street speed limit goes up. An unmarked street speed limit is less than those with double yellow.

  5. John says:

    It’s obviously a lie that the contractor slipped up. The TOWN slipped up, otherwise why would they have to pay to have the lines removed. More elected officials LYING to those they are suppose to serve.j

  6. Nora Olenchak Omalley says:

    Seriously folks, by next April they will be so faded you won’t see them at all. Just live with them until then and stop complaining. Yes, the contractor shouldn’t charge the town for the work-their mistake!

  7. Chelmsford Resident says:

    geez! such whiny neighbors of mine!
    While we’re at it let’s make “low income” families who drive nicer cars than I and spend more money on nails and hairs than we do on food, start paying fair prices for their homes.

    1. Wendy says:

      Wow. I guess you really don’t know your neighbors after all. Assumptions are a very dangerous thing so I’m going to take the higher road and not make them about you.

  8. concernedamerican says:

    wow SAFETY over BEAUTY,,, it’s a curved road and well yup there are plenty of stuoid drivers, this is not 1950 you know.

  9. Chad says:

    “I believe they don’t give pedestrians any space at all,” said Sartori. “Before when there were no lines they would at least veer to the other side of the road.”

    My suggestion to Chelmsford is station a few officers along the road so the cost of the repaint can be recovered by pedestrians illegally walking on the road. What Sartori doesn’t seem to get is that roads aren’t sidewalks and endangering drivers by careless walkers forcing them into oncoming traffic sounds like something to be addressed.

  10. JC says:

    Really? First of all, the last time I checked, roads were built for cars to drive on, not as a neighborhood’s own personal walkway. Secondly, the lines will probably make the road safer. From the look of the houses on this road, the owners could probably get together and chip in 1/2 of what they pay for landscaping each year and build some sidewalks so they don’t put drivers in danger by walking in the road.
    Get a life!!!! If lines in a road are all you have to worry about, consider yourself lucky.

  11. Susan M says:

    Subcontractors “slipped up”? It is up to them to correct their own mistakes.

  12. dan says:

    is this all they have to worry about in chelmsford

  13. Lin says:


  14. Town says:

    what ever happened to side walks?

  15. Christopher Desmond says:

    I don’t see what the problem is, wouldn’t they want people to stay on the correct side of the road

  16. Fred says:

    There is a scenic road in Chelmsford ?????

    1. dan says:

      if there is show me

  17. rollwitit says:

    Dan and Fred,
    You may know this, but these neighborhoods have historically been places where walking was and is the norm. The mistake of putting down these lines already has a cost but if there were to be a serious accident to even one of our many walkers, bicyclists, seniors and children using their side roadway as a way of recreational means of travel, what then of the cost? Distinguishing yourself as a town needs to come with some serious thought and care to preserving the character and perceptions of your neighborhoods. Adding touches to promote a recreational lifestyle such as bike paths and community gardens deserves the care and thought of providing roads that accommodate the safety of those using them to access these assets. Much research went into determining the adverse effects these lines have created on these two particular roadways and I personally applaud the BOS of Chelmsford in their willingness to listen, reflect and support the residents here who passionately documented how safety was and is compromised and will now take the stand to do the right thing by removing the mistake that was made.

  18. cc says:

    people shouldn’t be using the road as their walkway to begin with. That is unsafe. Build a sidewalk, and seriously get over the ‘issue.’ With everything going on in this world, you people are honestly arguing about a line on a road?? If this is seriously the only thing you have to focus your life on and complain about consider yourself very, very blessed.

    1. dan says:

      amen cc and if the people do not like it let them foot the bill.. see how they like it then

  19. dan says:

    i have been delivering chelmsford for years and talked to residents and never heard of a scenic road

  20. rox0r says:

    To everyone talking about pedestrians, the road is for cars, walkers, joggers, and bikers–check out the law before you mouth-off. Cars should be driven at a safe speed at all time, so there is no excuse for a car driver to blame people on the road.

    I completely support putting more police officers out to ticket drivers that are exceeding the speed limit or driving recklessly.

  21. Jerry says:

    Oh my God!!! This is a national tragedy!!! Double yellow lines….what next? Stop signs in red? Get a life people. Write about something serious in the world. What a bubble you live in

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