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POLL: Support for One-Way Ravine Road Trial?

What do you think about the experiment of making Ravine Road one-way from Fellsway East to Woodland Road?

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is moving forward with plans to make the upper section of Ravine Road from Fellsway East to Woodland Road a .

The issue of drivers using Ravine Road as a cut-through has been a source of contention between Melrose and Stoneham officials for years. The lower half of which, between Fellsway East and West Wyoming Avenue, is half in Melrose and half in Stoneham.

In 2008, Stoneham put up two 'Do Not Enter' signs on the road and placed barricades in the roadway that prevented traffic from turning onto the road from Fellsway East. Melrose filed a legal injunction against Stoneham, which took the  barriers and signs down with the understanding that Melrose, DCR and MassHighway officials would meet with them to address traffic safety in the area.

Now that the neighboring communities, along with the DCR, have agreed on at least this one-way experiment: What do you think?

Take our poll and tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did.

Susanne Guirakhoo May 05, 2012 at 09:17 PM
How about putting in a rotary at that intersection instead of making Ravine Road a one-way? There seems to be enough space, and rotaries are the best way to direct traffic in a civilized manner. This intersection can be like feeding time in a lions' cage sometimes. I do think Ravine Road is needed to help alleviate traffic at W. Wyoming and Pond, especially during rush hour.
Kelly beaujbeau May 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Taking a left from Pond to the Fellsway is next to impossible. Only one or two cars actually make it through each light. Hopefully a longer green light and a left arrow signal will be added or else the traffic is going to back up all the way to Woodland Rd. due to all the extra traffic on Pond due to Ravine Road being a one way. Entering Melrose during rush hour is going to be very tricky.
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 07, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Excellent thoughts, Susanne and Kelly. Regarding the lights at Pond Street/Fellsway/West Wyoming, Ward 3 Alderman Frank Wright noted in November that this plan may require some adjustment to the timing of those traffic lights.
Susanne Guirakhoo May 07, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Work Day 1 of the experiment: traffic backed up way past the Zoo. I had to use a bit of creative driving to circumvent that - not divulging details ;) . There has to be a better way to solve that problem!
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 07, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Another person said on Twitter that the traffic had backed up past the zoo and wasn't moving. I wouldn't give away my shortcut secrets either. :)
Matt May 08, 2012 at 05:20 PM
What a crazy idea. Everyone had to know that this was going to happen. Call your alderman and the DCR - http://www.mass.gov/dcr/aboutDCR.htm and let them know. End the insanity.
Adriana Mead May 09, 2012 at 07:10 PM
We have not been Melrose residents very long, but it does not take much time to realize how dependent commuters are on the use of both Ravine Road and Pond Street at W Wyoming. It is understandable that folks on the lower end of Ravine do not wish their residential street used as a cut-through, but making upper Ravine Road one way is (obviously) going to create traffic jams at the detour. At the height of the rush the Pond left turn is dicey regardless of this new implementation. I hope logic and rational thinking win on this one and another way is found to handle the issue. Really, what were our elected officials thinking?
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Quick update folks from today's live chat with the mayor: Question from Walter: "Good afternoon. While it's only been a couple of days since the Ravine Road "experiment" has been implemented, indications are that it is creating a traffic nightmare on Woodland Road and at the bottom of Pond Street.If the issue is speeding on Ravine Road in Stoneham, why not just implement speed mitigation measures there? Right now, even though all the changes have been made in Stoneham, only Melrose residents appear to be impacted by the current setup. The necessity for traffic to cross Woodland Road exiting to get to Wyoming Ave or Ravine road has always been dangerous, but to limit traffic to the Wyoming egress point only makes the problem much worse."
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Mayor's response: "As you know, the state and the DCR control the Fellsway. Not only that, it's in the town of Stoneham, as you pointed out. Not only people from Melrose but also people from Saugus up through the North Shore seem to be affected by this since Melrose is the cut-through from Route 1 to 93. The premise of the DCR's reasoning for this move was due to the documented fact that the crossing between lower Ravine Road in Stoneham and upper Ravine Road in Stoneham was classified as one of the most dangerous intersections in the area. The issue wasn't as much speeding but that cut-across, which is lengthy, and in many cases there are blind spots. It is documented on a monthly basis that the level of very serious accidents in that area would be disturbing to anyone. DCR's engineers and traffic study people suggested this as a possible solution, and they are looking at that entire corridor. We have shared each response we have received. There have not been a lot, but the Patch in particular did an unscientific survey that included over 150 people. We shared that with the DCR, and we have shared all the comments that have been made with the DCR, and we have made the request today that they readjust the lights at Grimsby's, because last night, traffic was backed up considerably. We have also shared, and will take the lead from, our state delegation, Senator Clark and Rep. Brodeur, who are our liaisons with that agency, and we share our feedback with them on a weekly basis."
Amy L May 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
As a long time Melrose resident, I'm angered by the trial experiment that is a quick fix without logic. Both intersections at Ravine and Pond are dangerous. Speed and high traffic volume are the culprits. First of all they need to make the one way the opposite direction. This will alleviate traffic backing up all the way to the zoo. Perhaps speed monitoring and light timing are helpful ideas. Forcing traffic down West Wyoming is not the cure. I understand residents are having traffic cut through their neighborhood. But a better compromise needs to be in order. Immediately. I am not in favor of this idea.
Patrick May 16, 2012 at 05:19 PM
This was an awful idea. Woodland road has been regularly backed up past the stone zoo since this change was made.
Karry May 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM
During all this planning why was there no consideration to put in a left turn arrow for traffic turning left onto the Fellsway from Pond Street? Poor planning on DCR and all involved. Closing Ravine has made traffic horrendous. What more are they going to learn in 6 months??
Janine Venuti June 15, 2012 at 03:53 AM
It may or may not decrease your commute time, but it certainly will be a more PEACEFUL and LESS DANGEROUS route into Melrose. Stay on the Fells way (Woodland Rd.) and go straight through the rotary at the Flynn Ice skating rink (heading towards Malden), TAKE THE FIRST LEFT this is East Boarder Rd. At the quick set of lights you will take another sharp left this puts you on Fellsway E. This will dump you down by Ravine Rd. The good thing about this is if you want to be on the Fellsway heading towards Saugus you don’t have to worry about taking that left at the Pond St. lights. If you intend to go down W. Wyoming just take an easy right onto Ravine Rd.

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