EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 16, 2013

Police: Traffic dangers at high school student lot

Haverhill considers making student parking lot's entrance one way

By Shawn Regan

---- — HAVERHILL — Police said a dangerous traffic situation exists at the rear entrance to the high school student parking lot.

They want to remedy the problem by limiting traffic to one direction through a gateway that connects the parking lot to Brook Street. If adopted, use of the gateway entrance to the lot would be limited to vehicles entering the lot in the morning and those leaving in the afternoon.

Currently, cars are allowed to move in both directions through the gateway, which is dangerous because it is a narrow passageway and many vehicles use it, police said.

City Council is considering the proposal.

Police officer Sean Scharneck, the high school safety to approve the change. He is assigned to the school and observes the traffic problems that happen at the lot.

The gate separating the parking lot from Brook Street is open for traffic only about an hour at the start of the school day and then again for the same amount of time when classes let out in the early afternoon, Superintendent James Scully said.

Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien said she was recently contacted by Scharneck to ask the council to consider making the entrance one way.

“It’s a safety issue,” Daly O’Brien said. “He doesn’t want cars going both ways because it’s a narrow road.”

Scully said the School Department relies on Scharneck’s advice and supports the request.

“It’s heavily used by students in cars and on foot and (Scharneck) feels it’s safer to make it one way at a time,” Scully said.

The council, which has control over traffic and roadway rules and ordinances, is expected to approve the change at its Feb. 26 meeting.