You Ask, Patch Answers is a weekly column for Melrosians who have questions about something they've spotted around the city or wondered about. Submit your question to email@example.com.
Regarding the one-way Ravine Road experiment, Chad asked, "Any idea if the DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation), Stoneham or Melrose is doing anything regarding this issue or is the six-month trial just moving along as planned?"
DCR spokeswoman S.J. Port said in an email that "DCR will continue the trial period unless we hear from both communities that they would like the trial to cease."
That means, for now, the trial will continue.
Mayor Rob Dolan wrote a letter to the DCR "imploring" the state to end the trial, citing "havoc" created at the Pond Street intersection and saying that the experiment hasn't alleviated issues at the Ravine Road and Fellsway East intersection.
However, last Tuesday the Stoneham Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to continue with the trial. Stoneham Town Administrator David Ragucci, who also received Dolan's letter, told the Stoneham selectmen on Tuesday that DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert asked the town what they'd like to see happen.
"I had suggested we wait until the six-month trial period (is over) before we take any action," Ragucci said. "He did say he would wait for Stoneham's decision before he would make a decision on taking the one-way down so I told the commissioner I would bring it up to the board this evening to see if you wish to continue with the six-month trial period, or if you'd like them to take the one-way down. Whatever you decide the commissioner will stand by."
According to Stoneham Selectman John DePinto, he had spoken with some Melrose residents about finding other commuting options while the Ravine Road trial period is in effect.
"I was trying to give them alternate routes, and I'm surprised they're not trying alternate routes ... because there are other ways to get to East Border Road down by (Flynn) Rink in Medford," DePinto said. "I know it's hard. I go by there at night on my way home and I see how it's backed up ... but I think it has to run its course before we can make a decision."
Port told Melrose Patch that the DCR is not considering any alternative solutions to the traffic issues in the area at this time.
"We will evaluate near the end of the trial period," she said.
Melrose residents offered a variety of alternative solutions in the comments on Melrose Patch, either in conjunction with the one-way Ravine Road or as a replacement solution.
Stoneham Selectman Bob Sweeney said he wants to meet with Dolan to get any suggestions Melrose has to try and resolve the issue, Ragucci said last Tuesday. Sweeney was not present for Tuesday's meeting.
DePinto suggested saving all letters submitted by residents for review at the conclusion of the one-way trial period.
In a May 1 poll on Stoneham Patch, 75 percent of readers voted that they do not support the trial period on Ravine Road. Similarly, in a May 2 poll on Melrose Patch, 85 percent voted against the Ravine Road one-way experiment.
Port said that residents are welcome to provide feedback either to their respective communities or to DCR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous coverage of the one-way Ravine Road trial on Melrose Patch:
- Ravine Road: Readers Speak Out, Offer Alternative Solutions
- Letter: Ravine Road Residents Disagree with Dolan, Support One-Way Trial
- Dolan to DCR: Stop One-Way Ravine Road Trial / Ravine Road Debate Continues on Melrose Patch
- Ravine Road, School Turnover and More: Highlights from Mayor's Chat
- Poll Results: Melrose Doesn't Support Support Making Upper Ravine Road One Way
- POLL: Support for One-Way Ravine Road Trial?
- Trial One-Way Ravine Road Starts Saturday
- Stretch of Ravine Road to Become One-Way for Trial Period
- Concerns About Ravine Road Return in Melrose and Stoneham
If you've got a question about something in Melrose, send it to email@example.com. We'll choose one question each week and get to work on digging up an answer.