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February 20, 2013

Subcommittee to mull safety on Lowell St.

PEABODY — The push to ensure the safety of pedestrians on Lowell Street near St. Adelaide Church moves to a City Council subcommittee tomorrow at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

This follows a fatal accident on Jan. 27, when Theodore Buttner, 87, of Somerville was struck by a car as he crossed the street. Buttner was leaving St. Adelaide’s when he was hit, heightening concern for parishioners at the church, which has a second parking lot across busy Lowell Street.

“We want to do something to alleviate that situation,” said City Council President Tom Gould, following a vote last Thursday to work out a plan within the subcommittee.

“There are several areas we’re going to talk about,” said Councilor-at-large Mike Garabedian, who chairs the subcommittee. “We’ll talk about the suggestion that we put in a (pedestrian) light, about police presence on Saturdays and Sundays, the speed limit, and more signage. ... People have got to know there is a church there.”

Garabedian noted there have been dramatic changes in the area since a proposal to put in a pedestrian light went nowhere in the mid-1990s. These include the growth of the nearby mall, which now includes a Hannaford Supermarket, a CVS and a T.J. Maxx.

“You’ve got a lot more traffic there now than you had 15 years ago,” Garabedian said. “There’s a whole different dynamic.”

He’s hoping to invite church officials, police and neighbors to the meeting. Further, he’s confident of hammering out a suggested course of action to present to the full council at their regular meeting.

Gould intends to attend tomorrow’s meeting, despite not being on the subcommittee.

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