hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


March 20, 2013

City should have addressed dangerous intersection sooner

It’s about time.

The city’s announcement that safety changes will be made to a dangerous intersection not far from Interstate 495 and Haverhill High School is welcome news.

The intersection of Broadway and North Broadway will get improvements to make travelling through that area safer. (See story, Page 1.)

The intersection has long been a dangerous spot, and has gotten worse with the traffic increase that has come with Haverhill’s growth.

During the morning and evening rush hours, the area is packed with cars head to or coming from I-495, which is just a few blocks away. Drivers use Broadway to reach the highway.

Then there’s North Broadway. It intersects with Broadway in a fork facing drivers heading north on Broadway. During the morning commute, many people turn from Broadway onto North Broadway to head toward the high school. When school lets out in the afternoon, the reverse is true. Students and staff members leaving the school take North Broadway to Broadway. In either case, they must travel through the intersection.

Making matters more complex is that the Chicken Connection restaurant is just a few dozen feet from the intersection. Cars come and go from the parking lot of the popular restaurant many times of the day, injecting more traffic into the area from yet another angle.

The changes to the intersection are coming after complaints from drivers and neighbors. They are the ones who see the dangers there up close.

The city has waited too long to address the problem. That intersection of Broadway and North Broadway was a problem area well before Haverhill’s growth spell of the last several years that brought more people — and traffic — to the city.

We hope safety officials keep a close eye on the intersection to monitor whether the changes work over time.

If not, the city must do more to make the area safe. Failing to address it could jeopardize the well being of people travelling through the area, even their lives.

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