EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 9, 2013

Traffic the source of many complaints in Plaistow

Route 125 complaints include traffic lights

Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said there are three complaints he hears about the most in town.

“It’s snow, taxes and traffic,” he said. “And not necessarily in that order.”

When it comes to traffic, it’s a problem that doesn’t have a defined solution.

“It’s always going to be a problem in a busy society,” Fitzgerald said. “But we are always looking at strategies to calm down traffic.”

Town officials are focused on two roads which run parallel with each other, the Route 125 business corridor and Route 121A (Main Street), which passes through the center of town.

“The problem is that in order to avoid the traffic lights on Route 125, people are using Main Street instead,” police Chief Stephen Savage said. “We don’t want heavy traffic, especially truckers, to use Main Street. It’s a much more pedestrian-traveled road.”

The town cannot ban trucks from Main Street because it is a state owned road, but officials are taking efforts to divert traffic away from it.

“We are trying to make Main Street a little more challenging for trucks,” Fitzgerald said.

He said the town has plans to create more crosswalks on Main Street, especially around Pollard School and Town Hall.

“We want to put a more pedestrian focus on the road,” he said. “We want to create an environment where people are comfortable getting out of their cars.”

Savage said educating the truckers is the most efficient way to get them off Main Street.

“I’ve spoke with many of our local truckers and they have understood to use Route 125,” he said. “We have a good relationship with them. But the truckers who come from out of our area still use Main Street as a shortcut to get around (Route) 125.”

A common complaint about traveling up and down Route 125 is being constantly stalled at the numerous traffic lights. Selectman John Sherman had suggested at a candidate forum earlier this year, synchronizing the traffic lights, something Fitzgerald said had been done in the past.

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