Monday, April 7, 2014

Dorchester Sees 166% Gain In Weekend Traffic Since 2008

While Dorchester village officials probably won't hear any grumbling about traffic jams anytime too soon, they may want to take notice of the dramatic spike of weekend traffic on Main Street from just half a dozen years ago. 

They may also want to recognize the sizable increase in economic activity created by those who arrive in the additional vehicles.

According to a study conducted by the Times, weekend traffic on Dorchester's three-block business district has surged 166% on Friday and Saturday nights compared to just six years ago.

The Times compared ten random traffic counts taken in 2008 and another ten taken in 2014. The tallies were taken between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday evenings, when Dorchester's Main Street (Washington Ave.) tends to be its busiest.

In 2008, the average number of cars or trucks parked in the business district was 12. This year, the average number of autos was 32.

The increase in traffic can likely be attributed to the success of Ben's Iron Grill (and its successors), Joe's Place (and now City Slickers) and increased community activity at the Legion Hall and Dorchester Community Building.

The extra vehicles mean big dollars for Dorchester, even using conservative estimates. 

We estimate that each vehicle on Dorchester's Main Street on a Friday or Saturday evening equals at least $30 spent in town on food, drinks, donations, gasoline or something else. 

Using that figure, the additional 20 vehicles appearing in the business district on weekend nights would translate into an extra $62,400 spent in Dorchester throughout the course of a year.

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