EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 17, 2013

City wants to end traffic jams around high school

470 students, staff drive, clog roads, each day

HAVERHILL — With more students driving to school than in past years, the city is looking for ways to smooth out traffic jams at intersections near Haverhill High.

Haverhill High Principal Bernard Nangle said about 400 students and 70 teachers and administrators drive to school each day — clogging roads around the campus during the early morning and mid-afternoon hours.

“With the economy improving, more and more kids are driving to school,” Nangle said. “We have about 470 cars coming into the high school in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.”

Nangle said a major redesign of the high school driveway two years ago resulted in much better flow on the property. But that has caused it’s own problems, he said.

“We now have two turning lanes out of the high school and bus lanes in front, which work great,” he said. “But that also means vehicles are getting out much faster, which leads to more congestion on Monument Street.”

Several isolated traffic issues have come up recently for roads and intersections near the school. Among them are a request by administrators that police limit traffic to one direction in and out the high school’s gated back entrance onto Brook Street, and a proposal to prohibit left turns in the late afternoon from Broadway (Route 97) onto North Broadway.

Another intersection of concern even closer to the high school is North Broadway and Monument Street, where there is a four-way stop.

“Most of the traffic is heading that way to (Interstate) 495, so maybe they could look at a traffic light there, which is what other schools our size do,” Nangle said of that intersection.

At its meeting last week, City Council voted to ask the city’s Traffic and Safety Committee to take a hard look at all the roadways and intersections near the high school. That committee includes police, city planners and traffic experts.

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