EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 7, 2013

Windham trail's popularity causing safety issues

Rail trail popularity results in safety concerns

(Continued)

“The rail trail has been a tremendous addition to this community. It has brought a lot of folks to town,” Lewis told selectmen.

He pointed to cyclists, inline skaters, moms with strollers, and kids using the trail from Roulston Road, with vehicles parked on both sides.

“It is a hazard,” Lewis said.

He called for something to be done soon, because neighboring Salem is moving toward trail improvements that could add more users.

Samsel acknowledged increased usage.

“A lot of folks are coming up from the south to use that trail,” he said.

The town, meanwhile, has tried through enforcement and pedestrian crossing improvements to make Depot Road safer, but officials said more may need to be done.

“We have a speed problem on Depot Road,” Lewis said.

“Occasionally, cars do fly through there,” he said.

Samsel said parking is tight with an influx of families, especially on the weekend.

“Sunday mornings it’s scary,” he said.

Lewis said police are looking at extra enforcement but suggested the time might be right for road safety improvements.

Selectman Roger Hohenberger suggested additional signage and striping might help, noting that seems to slow traffic through downtown Derry.

“I think that really works,” Hohenberger said.

John Mangan, who lives in the Depot Road neighborhood, said traffic has become a worry for residents.

“When you go out and get your mail, you have to be careful,” he said.

Mangan wondered if the town needs to take a look at the problem in conjunction with traffic on nearby North Lowell Road.

He pointed to potential future development by Crossing Life Church, as well as road work in Derry diverting drivers through the neighborhood.

Cars traveling 40 mph along North Lowell Road are still going that fast as they move through Depot Road near the trail parking area, he said.

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