Trial One-Way Ravine Road Starts Saturday

Starting Saturday, May 5, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will make the upper section of Ravine Road from Woodland Road to Fellsway East a one-way state-controlled street for a six-month trial period.

Starting Saturday, May 5, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will make the upper section of Ravine Road from Woodland Road to Fellsway East a one-way state-controlled street for a six-month trial period.

The plan was . At a recent Stoneham Board of Selectmen session, Town Administrator David Ragucci said he met with DCR about Ravine Road and the change will run for the next six months and "we'll assess after that."

"The six-month trial does not include any roadway changes to lower Ravine Road (Fellsway East to W. Wyoming Ave.)," reads the press statement. "During this trial period, traffic from Woodland Road will be forced to used Pond Street to reach the Fellsway.

"The purpose of this reconfiguration is to allow the continued study of the Fellsway corridor for increased roadway and intersection safety improvements. The communities of Stoneham and Melrose supported exploring any solution that improved intersection safety without  increasing traffic volume in residential neighborhoods."

The change is meant to increase safety at the dangerous intersection of Ravine Road and the Fellsway East, especially during rush hour, by preventing vehicles from exiting Ravine Road onto the Fellsway East or crossing over it (“Do Not Enter” signs for Ravine Road will go up at its intersection with Woodland Road).

The Ravine Road issue , with both even entering legal negotiations over it in 2008. However, in , Melrose Ward 3 Alderman Frank Wright said he supports the current plan, as did members of the Stoneham Board of Selectmen.

Wright said his concerns with past plans were that other side streets, such as Felicia Road and Glen Street, would’ve turned into cut-throughs. He said under the current plan the light at Pond Street and the Fellsway East may need to be lengthened for vehicles traveling east on Pond Street, so that traffic doesn’t back up there due to the change. He also called the Ravine Road and the Fellsway East intersection “the wild west” at rush hour.

Some examples of recent accidents on Ravine Road include:

  • , respond to the area of Ravine Road and Woodland Road for a report of a motor vehicle accident with personal injury. State Police notified. One person was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. 
  • , police called to Ravine Road on a report of a motor vehicle crash. Two men fled one of the vehicles into the woods. State Police notified. One person was transported to Lahey Clinic in Burlington. State Police handling the investigation.
  • , Stoneham police responded to Fellsway East and Ravine Road area for a report of a motor vehicle crash. State police were notified. One person was taken to Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

The short, residential stretch of Ravine Road, from the Fellsway East to West Wyoming Avenue, is divided between Stoneham and Melrose. The stretch in question is actually overseen by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which has also backed the current plan.

Editor's note: Reporter John Waller contributed to this report.

ed shreenan May 02, 2012 at 10:58 AM
What a screwing for Melrose residents. We get to drive to Pond St. which on a regular day you can get 2-3 cars turning left thru the light. This is Stoneham sticking it to Melrose. Why doesn't Melrose create Do Not Enter roads from Stoneham into Melrose on the side streets to Lynn Fells Pkwy. It certainly wouldn't be as congested. I can't believe Melrose Reps didn't fight this.
Steve May 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Agreed. At a minimum the Pond St light needs to be changed to include a left turn arrow and a longer cycle for cars traveling on Pond St.
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Thanks for the comments Ed and Steve. I've created a poll about this issue, if you'd like to vote and continue the discussion there, too: http://melrose.patch.com/articles/poll-support-for-one-way-ravine-road-trial
Jonathan Cincotta May 02, 2012 at 07:41 PM
A better solution would be enforcement of pre-existing traffic regulations. Cited accidents could have been avoided with observance of the stop sign at the top of Ravine Rd. Limited sight distance is certainly a problem, however merging traffic is not ludicrous. Area side-streets will soon become busy thoroughfares, and the traffic light at Grimsby's will interminable. Perhaps the funding of this venture would be better spent in the paving of Ravine Road instead? This proposal is a new set of problems. Not a valid solution.
j. t. andree May 08, 2012 at 02:15 AM
The traffic congestion to head down Pond St. to the Fellsway today was unbearable. It added 15-20 minutes to my commute just waiting to turn and waiting for the lights.
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I've heard that from a couple of people today—some were telling me they were backed up to the zoo.
Chris Ryan May 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I can't believe Melrose let this happen either. Apparently our city officials don't use this route to commute. At least have a delayed green light for people traveling towards Pond St from West Wyoming so a few cars can take the left onto the Fellsway.
Bobby Meds May 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Can they knock down JJ Grimsbys and widen the road?!?!? No one (in there right mind) would eat there anyways!
Tom Pool May 12, 2012 at 05:39 AM
As one that lives along the Fellsway right across from Ravine road, I second the opinion above about enforcement of traffic rules already in place as a solution to the problem. In the past three years, I have seen police enforcing the 25 mph speed limit along this stretch exactly once. Most drivers speed by at what must be at least 45-50mph. This is bound to cause accidents as the speeders meet up with the folks actually obeying the law. Yes, there are a lot of accidents along this portion of the road. I fail to see how making Ravine Road one direction solves this problem. Accidents happen all along this 2-3 block stretch, sometimes at Ravine Road and sometimes not. There was even an accident on the first night of the new road plan where one of the cars was so badly damaged it had to be towed away. It was about a block away from Ravine Road and involved one car that was...you guessed it...speeding down the road and hit a car that was taking a left turn onto another side road.


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