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Local News

January 20, 2014

A matter of safety

Couple crusading for improvements at dangerous intersection

(Continued)

“The area has grown tremendously since the hotel was put there,” said state Rep. Ted Speliotis of Danvers.

Ferncroft Road, which turns into Locust Street in Middleton, is the main way out to Route 1 for the Packowskis, who live on Nichols Lane in Middleton. The problem, they say, is few drivers heed the stop sign at the bottom of Village Drive, and simply breeze through it.

Following Ferncroft Road as it makes a left across Village Drive is difficult because a rock wall, plantings and flag poles in the median strip block the view up the hill of traffic heading down toward the stop sign.

“The most dangerous part is taking a left here,” said Kelly Packowski. “You can’t see the cars coming down.”

The Packowskis aren’t calling for an expensive fix or a traffic study, but they want some road striping and a blinking red light.

The problem is that this two-tenths of a mile stretch of Village Drive in Danvers is privately owned, by the late developer Thomas Flatley.

“The hotel has been very good in terms of helping us get this fixed,” John Packowski said, “but they don’t own any part of the road or the stop sign or anything.” The hotel even hosted a meeting with neighbors, who also favor safety improvements, but there is little the hotel can do.

“Our frustration is this accident happened in July,” John Packowski said. “We’ve been diligent — if not weekly, then every other week — trying to communicate, trying to get this done. We’ve been trying to get this done for years before the accident happened.”

They say they have met with the Danvers Traffic Advisory Committee, contacted Middleton Town Administrator Ira Singer and asked state lawmakers for help. They circulated a petition and got dozens of signatures from neighbors. They have spoken with Danvers, Middleton and state police.

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