Good news. According to the TAB, the state's going to pay to have Needham Street rebuilt. There'll be plenty to say in the months (years) that it'll take, so I'll start with an important point from the TAB article:
The key to the road improvements is improving the bridge crossing the Charles River from Newton into Needham. The stretch of road often faces bottlenecked traffic as the number of lanes is reduced from two to one before crossing the bridge from either direction.
“No matter what we do with the roads, if we don’t address that bridge, we’ll run into the same traffic issues,” Solomon said.
The bridge is not the bottleneck.
Highland Avenue west of the bridge is four lanes. Except for the two-way left-turn lanes (TWLTL), Needham Street is two lanes all the way to Winchester. At some point, there's going to be a bottleneck as four lanes become two. Right now, the two-lane bridge is the bottleneck. Widen it and you just move the bottleneck east.
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The only possible change of any significance that I can imagine is improving traffic into the Needham and Oak/Christina intersection and through to Oak and Christina. Is that an improvement? In the case of Christina, to direct more traffic onto a residential street?