Beginning Thursday, the Golden Arch will glow no more over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Natick.
At 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, MassDOT will turn off the power for the McDonald's and Gulf signs, which have been angering neighbors, according to State Rep. David Linsky's office.
“I have been fighting to get these signs turned off for about a decade,” said Linsky in a statement. “If I said that was thrilled, it would be an understatement. I feel like I just won the lottery.”
Since the signs were introduced, neighbors have complained that the light from them has made it difficult for their children to sleep.
“These signs were put up next to well-established neighborhoods without notice or a public hearing,” said Linsky. “No other state highway has signs this larger or bright at its rest areas.”
“By cutting electricity to these unnecessary and intrusive lights, Secretary Mullan and MassDOT have really stepped up and done the right thing for residents,” said Natick selectman Joshua Ostroff. “McDonald's has had ample opportunity to work with the state and neighbors to reach a fair accommodation, but for years they have simply refused to do so. As the state considers how to create private partnerships that serve the public interest, this is a cautionary tale about the need to respect local bylaws and neighborhoods.”
State Sen. Karen Spilka and Rep. Alice Peisch have co-sponsored Linsky's bill.
“We have been working hard on this issue for a long time now,” said Spilka. “Turning these signs off will provide some much needed relief to residents and return to them the sense of peace and privacy they deserve.”
“I am pleased that MassDOT has made the decision to cut power to this sign after years of negatively impacting residents along that section of the Mass Pike, and I am confident that this action will help those residents go about their daily lives without the nuisance of the sign’s bright, artificial light,” said Peisch.
“I am happy that MassDOT is taking action on this matter,” said Sen. Richard Ross. “It is important to me that my constituents are able to live in a community where they can go about their lives without such an outside interference.”