SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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October 7, 2013

Brimbal Ave. vote set for tonight

(Continued)

“I’m not a traffic expert, but common sense will tell you it won’t work,” Martin said. “We do need traffic improvements in the area, but the question is what are those improvements. So far, we’ve been given one option, take it or leave it.”

Martin has submitted an order to the City Council requesting the formation of a Brimbal Avenue Citizen Advisory Committee that would meet monthly and be given updates on the project.

“Brimbal Avenue residents just want a seat at the table,” he said. “This is their neighborhood. They don’t want to be brushed off.”

Martin has also asked for a study by the city’s Parking and Traffic Commission of the Dodge and Laurel streets intersection at the end of Brimbal Avenue in North Beverly. Residents at last month’s public hearing were upset to learn that the intersection was not included in the traffic study for the Brimbal Avenue project.

“That’s as bad an intersection as there is in the city,” Martin said.

Ward 6 Councilor Brett Schetzsle has also submitted an order that would prevent drive-through restaurants from being built in “overlay” districts such as the one on Brimbal Avenue.

“It’s just one less thing that will bring transient traffic in the area and cause traffic backups,” Schetzsle said.

Schetzsle said he is “leaning very strongly” toward supporting the rezoning proposal. He said the City Council has already supported the project by voting to endorse a land swap between the state and the developer to enable the project to proceed.

“The traffic and safety improvements that will come with it are not insignificant,” he said.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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