I am really happy with the new bright green line along the edge of Linebrook Road. This is a classy-yet-totally-New-England-appropriate touch for our town. I don’t know exactly how the green line came about, but I feel pretty certain that the Design Review Board must have had something to do with it. My wife Kristina used to sit on the Design Review Board, so I know how committed they are to not only preserving the historic look and feel of the Ipswich milieu, but also keeping us on the cutting edge. It was the Design Review Board, for example, that arranged for the Route 1 face of the new Tractor Supply Company building to be so pretty, just like the earliest colonial tractor supply people would have made it.
The green line on Linebrook Road is, in the same way, attractive but also historically appropriate. In the earliest days of our town, cows made paths as they grazed, and the paths became brown and muddy, with green grass remaining at the edges of the mud. What was once a cow path is now Linebrook Road, and our new green line is situated in more or less the same position as the original green grass line. I’ll ask town historian Gordon Harris to confirm this, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.
The green line on Linebrook Road is also highly functional, providing a clear space where bicyclists can do their bicycling. This is a hugely important safety feature, because of the threat of bicyclists crowding cars off the road. I’m also grateful for the new Day-Glo yellow signs featuring a cartoon of a bicycle followed by the admonition “Share the Road.” I certainly hope the bicyclists will comply. I would feel even safer if the town would add a third line, in Day-Glo red, inside the green line, to guarantee adequate space for very small cars, like mine.
Plus, think about this: Boston has a Green Line, and now we do too. This is progress. See? Year after year, there’s more and more stuff right here in Ipswich that you don’t have to go to Boston for.
I’m glad to see Ipswich taking the lead on this trend. As far as I can tell, we’re among the first of all North Shore towns to feature multi-colored lines along the edge of the road. Let’s not stop here. Since we already have a couple yellow lines down the middle, in addition to the white and green lines on the edge, I think a wiggly fluorescent purple line down the middle of each lane in the Doyon school zone would be a nice touch as well. For deer crossings, we could add an attractive blue line that cuts across all lanes. And maybe an orange line that zigzags all over the place for turkeys.
Of course we shouldn’t be disappointed if other towns copy our forward-thinking road-painting strategy. It won’t surprise me at all to see Hamilton marking horse-trotting lanes in upscale taupe, or Rowley using pink paint to indicate permit-free business zones. But we’ll still have the satisfaction of knowing we were first.
Doug Brendel lives on the double-yellow single-white no-green section of outer Linebrook Road. Follow him by clicking “Follow.”