Andover turned over two written complaints from residents about pedestrian safety in Elm Square between 2018 and May 9, the day 5-year-old Sidney Olson was hit and killed by a truck while crossing the street.
“Unless I’m missing something, the current implementation of traffic lights and cross-walk lights in this intersection must be incorrect, and could be inviting a tragedy that will have us all asking ‘How could this have happened?'” the resident said in a Jan. 30 email to Andover DPW. The letter was among the documents the Town turned over to Andover News Wednesday in response to a public records request.
As currently configured, traffic is allowed to turn right while the walk lights are illuminated. The Olson family said Sidney was hit while the walk light was lit.
The Town said on Wednesday it will hold a community forum on June 8 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium at Doherty Middle School (50 Bartlet Street) to discuss the steps being taken to address safety concerns.
“Our commitment to pedestrian safety has never been greater, and it has only been strengthened in the recent weeks,” Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said in a news release announcing the forum. “I think that residents will see that reflected in the weeks and months ahead.”
Among other documents, Andover News asked for complaints filed with DPW and police between 2018 and May 9.
The only other complaint the Town turned over was Andover Police Public Safety Officer Glen Ota’s report on an August meeting with Andrew Lewine of WalkBike Andover and another resident, as well as Planning Director Paul Materazzo and Tony Collins and Jim Terlizzi of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. The meeting was held to discuss the possibility of making all traffic stop when walk signs were lit and installing No Turn On Red signs.
More coverage on Andover News:
- Town, MassDOT Dispute Elm Square Signal Oversight
- Andover Repainting Street Lines After Fatal Crash
- Speed Not A Factor In Fatal Andover Crash
- State Looking At Elm Square Safety
- Elm Square Safety Fix Delayed By Studies, Traffic Concerns
- Officials Identify 5-Year-Old Crash Victim
- Town Pressured To Make Elm Square Safer
- Witnesses Recall Horror Of Fatal Crash
- Child Hit, Killed In Elm Street Crash
Ota relayed the concerns to Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe and Facilities Director Janet Nicosia, who responded by saying she would request funding for a required traffic study at Annual Town Meeting on May 1. In an undated update, Ota’s report said the funds were approved and the Town’s traffic engineer “is now conducting the traffic study and will have results shortly.”
The other documents the Town released Wednesday include a surveyor’s map of Elm Square, a list of non-traffic complaints to the DPW and a spreadsheet showing there were 44 crashes in Elm Square between 2018 and May 9. Those crashes included two with injury and five hit-and-run crashes. The majority of crashes — 33 — involved no injury. The chart does not show how many crashes involved pedestrians.