Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

September 19, 2013

Barreling down in Ballardvale; Traffic, speed spark safety concerns for neighbors

Traffic, speed spark safety concerns for neighbors

(Continued)

The letter was addressed to Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, with copies to state Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover; state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover; former Police Chief Brian Pattullo and police safety officer Charles Edgerly.

”When we first sent the letter, we didn’t get one response,” DeLucia said. A week or two later, she said, she ran into Lyons and pleaded with him to do something about the road.

”He said, ‘I’ll stay on it,’” she recalled.

Lyons said he spoke with Selectman Brian Major and then sent a letter to Stapczynski inquiring about the neighbors’ concerns. Soon after, the restive neighbors got a response, and a meeting was called at the Town Offices.

Earlier this month, more than 50 people — armed with photos and anecdotes about how their once peaceful, rural, winding road had become a speedway for trucks and commuters and a safety hazard to residents — packed into the third-floor selectmen’s meeting room, ”The outpouring of people was amazing,” said John Brussard, who lives at 93 Tewksbury St. with his wife and four, school-age children. “There were people there I’ve never seen before.”

People came not only from Tewksbury Street, but also from Chester Street, Yardley Road, Mitton Circle and other nearby streets.

And they all had different concerns.

Speed, visibility among problems

For the Brussards, the issue comes down to the safety of their children.

Last week, while their two elementary school-age daughters got ready for school, Julie Brussard spoke about the dangers of the roadway for young children.

At the start of the year, the bus stop for her youngest daughters — Jacklyn, 9, and Jesselle, 6 — was about 200 yards down Tewksbury Street at the intersection with Yardley Road.

But her husband, fearing for their daughters’ safety if they had to walk along the narrow road, spoke with school officials and convinced them to pick the girls up at the end of their driveway.

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