EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

February 20, 2014

State to make decision on Route 125 danger spot

Reviews push to outlaw parking in area of fatal crash

HAVERHILL — It’s been two years since a well-known local woman was pinned between two cars and killed in a parking space just outside Central Square.

And during that two-year stretch, more than 30 other car crashes have happened in that area of Bradford, police said.

Yesterday, state highway officials said they are giving consideration to eliminating five curbside parking spaces along that part of busy Route 125. Local safety officials said the spaces have contributed to many of the crashes. Haverhill has asked the state to allow the change.

The spaces are in front of several popular businesses just south of the Basiliere Bridge, including Heav’nly Donuts, Wendy’s and McDonalds. The combination of cars coming and going from the businesses and heavy traffic on Route 125, plus the cars parked in those spaces, has created a dangerous situation, police said.

State officials say the parking spaces were scheduled to remain in place after the state completed the Route 125/South Main Street reconstruction project last year. However, because Haverhill leaders have asked that the spaces be removed, those state officials said yesterday they are considering the change.

This week, City Councilor Michael McGonagle, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said City Engineer John Pettis sent a letter to the state last week asking for permission to remove the spaces. McGonagle said he anticipates the state approving the request and for the plan to move forward without significant delay.

“They will be removed. We just have to go through the right channels,” McGonagle said. “From what John (Pettis) told us, it didn’t seem like it would be that much of an issue.”

Yesterday, MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes confirmed receipt of the letter dated Feb. 13 requesting elimination of the spaces.

“An existing traffic control agreement stipulated that these spaces remain in place upon completion of the (Route 125) project, however, in light of this letter, MassDOT will consider the request to make these changes,” Verseckes said.

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