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.