By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — Merchants and residents of Bradford’s busy Central Square were united in opposing the state’s plan to limit traffic on a stretch of South Central Street to one direction. City councilors also opposed the move.
Prior to the change in May, the council voted three times to oppose it, while business owners and people who live near the square rallied against the plan at several public meetings.
Merchants and property owners said the change would hurt business and lower real estate values. Residents said it would lead to more traffic on narrow residential streets behind the square, due to motorists and school buses from a company on South Central Street seeking other ways to reach Route 125.
Councilor William Macek said the concerns of those who opposed making the road one way have come to fruition.
“I’d like to see the roadway reconfigured back to two ways,” Macek said. “Traffic is really bad behind the square. School buses are already a problem and the new school year hasn’t even started yet.”
Restricting traffic to one-way on South Central Street, leading away from the square, was part of the state’s reconstruction of Route 125, which included redesigning and rebuilding Central Square for improved traffic flow.