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Ravine Road Debate Continues on Melrose Patch

Mayor Rob Dolan asks the state to cease the one-way Ravine Road trial period, citing "havoc" at the Pond Street intersection and a lack of impact on issues at the Ravine Road and Fellsway East intersection.

Editor's note: The headline for this article was update on Thursday, June 7 at 10 p.m. to reflect the ongoing discussion in the comments below.

Also, Ravine Road residents Kathleen McGourthy and Craig Schwarze wrote a of the DCR's one-way Ravine Road trial.

A copy of this letter from Dolan to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation was provided to Melrose Patch by the Mayor's Office.

May 29, 2012

Michael D. Misslin
Acting Chief Engineer
Engineering Division
251 Causeway Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02114

Re: Temporary Traffic Measures (Ravine Road - Melrose/Stoneham)

Dear Mr. Misslin:

I am writing on behalf of the many residents of Melrose who have contacted my office over the past few weeks expressing their grave concerns about the efforts by DCR to implement a one-way traffic pattern, on a trial basis, along Ravine Road between Woodland Road and Fellsway East. Unfortunately, this reconfigured traffic pattern is wreaking havoc for residents and commuters seeking to travel through the intersection at Pond Street, and does not appear to be alleviating any of the issues where Ravine Road intersects with Fellsway East.

By this letter, I am imploring the DCR to cease the trial period at this time. Although Melrose has sought to work cooperatively to explore long-term traffic options for this corridor of the Fellsway, it is clear that this temporary traffic measure cannot address those issues.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Very truly yours,
Robert J. Dolan

CC: Aldermen Frank Wright
      Senator Katherine Clark
      Representative Paul Brodeur
      David Ragucci, Stoneham Town Administrator

Chris Vander Rhodes June 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Otherwise, if they insist on keeping Upper Ravine Road One Way at all hours, it seems to me that they need to: - Widen Pond Street to 2 lanes heading East (I imagine this could be done without actual road widening by eliminating the shoulder on both sides and repainting the lines. You'd probably also have to sacrifice the trailhead parking area on Pond Street, which will be unpopular with some people.( - Add a Left Turn signal at Pond Street and Lynn Fells Parkway. Making that left turn has always been a challenge anyway, and is a problem at all hours of the day. - Lengthen the light cycle at Pond Street/Lynn Fells to allow for more flow of commuter traffic from Pond Street, to alleviate backups on Woodland Road. - Consider making Pond Street at Woodland Road a roundabout. Yes, roundabouts suck. But Massachusetts already uses them liberally, including one on this route at the end of Woodland Road in Medford. - Alternately, install a traffic light at this intersection, but since the issue is only 5-7pm, a traffic light there all the time feels like overkill.
Chris Vander Rhodes June 08, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Something has to be done before this six month "trial period" is up. If we're in "but think of the chldren!" mode, let's try also thinking of the children of all the commuters who need to be picked up from various day care situations. Adding 10-20 minutes to everyone's commute is surely having an impact with day care providers and other child care situations. It's great that the 25 children (and other residents) on Ravine Road feel safer, but making a decision that helps a handful of people while leaving scores of other people at a disadvantage doesn't make any kind of sense. (and I apologize for the multiple comments, this system doesn't let you post too much at once and I'm not good at self-editing :) )
Chris Vander Rhodes June 08, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Whoops this should read "none of those side streets are an obvious route from Upper Ravine Road to Wyoming Ave."
Chad H. June 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
So tomorrow starts the heavy machinery on Woodland correct? I can't wait for the fun tomorrow trying to make it to my boys last t-ball game at 5:30pm. But hey as long as the folks living in the area feel safe now, what's a few more minutes (if only) each night for the rest of us worth anyways?
Matt June 11, 2012 at 04:42 PM
That is so great that we should also implement a new one way on Lebanon street where I live. The traffic on Lebanon street where I live is really heavy. Maybe Main Street one way to Malden and Lebanon one way from Malden. People just use it all day as a cut-through from Melrose to Malden and it just isn't safe for the kids. Sure I knew it was a busy street, and that made my house about $50k cheaper than it would have been on another street, but traffic just gets worse and worse. [end sarcasm] Are the Stoneham assessors going to revalue the houses and increase taxes on Ravine Rd. now that there is less traffic? Seems only appropriate...

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