Andover residents can comment on safety proposals included in a draft of MassDOT’s road safety audit at a forum scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. at the West Middle School.
The audit was conducted after a five-year-old girl was hit and killed by a truck while crossing the street on May 9. The audit includes recommendations for immediate changes, as well as mid-to-long term changes to improve pedestrian safety in Elm Square.
Town Clerk Austin Simko said Tuesday the Andover was waiting for MassDOT to make comments before releasing a draft of the audit. Simko expects those comments later this week, allowing the Town to share the draft at next week’s forum.
The intersection is a longstanding target for safety complaints. Currently, lights in Elm Square are configured so drivers can turn right when walk signs are lit. The controllers have a feature known as “Lead Pedestrian Interval,” which lights the walk signs before the right turn lights, giving pedestrians a slight head start.
Sidney Olson’s parents said the walk light was lit when she was hit by a Sysco truck. The driver cooperated with investigators and no charges have been filed.
Following the crash, WalkBikeAndover began circulating a petition demanding the immediate installation of “No Turn On Red” signs and programming traffic lights to turn red in all directions when walk signs are lit. Town officials said state regulations prohibited changes until the audit was completed.
Photo: Dave Copeland/Andover News