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DCR to Change Section of Ravine Road to One-Way Street

Starting Saturday, May 5, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will make the upper section of Ravine Road from Fellsway East to Woodland Road a one-way state-controlled street, according to the Town of Stoneham website.

Starting Saturday, May 5, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will make the upper section of Ravine Road from Fellsway East to Woodland Road a one-way state-controlled street, according to a press statement on the Town of Stoneham website.

At a recent Stoneham Board of Selectmen session, Town Administrator David Ragucci said he met with DCR about Ravine Road and the change will run for the next six months and "we'll assess after that."

"The six-month trial does not include any roadway changes to lower Ravine Road (Fellsway East to W. Wyoming Ave.)," reads the press statement. "During this trial period, traffic from Woodland Road will be forced to used Pond Street to reach the Fellsway.

"The purpose of this reconfiguration is to allow the continued study of the Fellsway corridor for increased roadway and intersection safety improvements. The communities of Stoneham and Melrose supported exploring any solution that improved intersection safety without  increasing traffic volume in residential neighborhoods."

The change is meant to increase safety at the dangerous intersection of Ravine Road and the Fellsway East, especially during rush hour, by preventing vehicles from exiting Ravine Road onto the Fellsway East or crossing over it (“Do Not Enter” signs for Ravine Road will go up at its intersection with Woodland Road).

The Ravine Road issue , with both even entering legal negotiations over it in 2008. However, in , Melrose Alderman Frank Wright said he supports the current plan, as did members of the Stoneham Board of Selectmen.

Wright said his concerns with past plans were that other side streets, such as Felicia Road and Glen Street, would’ve turned into cut-throughs. He said under the current plan the light at Pond Street and the Fellsway East may need to be lengthened for vehicles traveling east on Pond Street, so that traffic doesn’t back up there due to the change. He also called the Ravine Road and the Fellsway East intersection “the wild west” at rush hour.

Some examples of recent accidents on Ravine Road include:

  • , respond to the area of Ravine Road and Woodland Road for a report of a motor vehicle accident with personal injury. State Police notified. One person was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. 
  • , police called to Ravine Road on a report of a motor vehicle crash. Two men fled one of the vehicles into the woods. State Police notified. One person was transported to Lahey Clinic in Burlington. State Police handling the investigation.
  • , Stoneham police responded to Fellsway East and Ravine Road area for a report of a motor vehicle crash. State police were notified. One person was taken to Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

The short, residential stretch of Ravine Road, from the Fellsway East to West Wyoming Avenue, is divided between Stoneham and Melrose. The stretch in question is actually overseen by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which has also backed the current plan.

[Editor's note: Reporter John Waller contributed to this report.]

Don May 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Well, as I walk there all the time it seems that this change is to help the construction vehicles behind the old hospital. But, I can tell you, there are about 5 shortcuts through Melrose that will be taken away. Why they are ruining the Fells is sin, there is no way they have the interests of the athletic people who use that area.
Matt May 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM
interesting the way the "trial period" got a complete restriping of the road. I predict pandemonium at Pond Street/Woodland Rd. when the people coming into Melrose from 93S (by the zoo) can't make the left due to increased traffic.
Nora Bailey May 08, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I agree with Matt. Last night I sat in the traffic from 93S to turn left and was there for 25 minutes. One driver even moved across the first lane to try and get through which caused horns to blare and cars to have to stop. I hope the solution is corrected long before the "six month's before they re-assess"
Karen June 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM
The traffic in this area is nightmare now! Taking that left hand turn is a nightmare, coupled by the light at the intersection near Grimsby's which is always backed up now. It's horrible!
Don June 06, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I knew it would Karen, a lot of traffic cuts through Ravine Rd to avoid that light. Now, they have only the choice to go that way or through Malden to the Fellsway to get to Melrose. As someone who uses the woods for exercise, it is disgusting that they would put developments there. It will all be developed soon. Can't write what I think about it, surely would not get posted.
Janine Venuti June 15, 2012 at 03:57 AM
It may or may not decrease your commute time, but it certainly will be a more PEACEFUL and LESS DANGEROUS route into Melrose. Stay on the Fells way (Woodland Rd.) and go straight through the rotary at the Flynn Ice skating rink (heading towards Malden), TAKE THE FIRST LEFT this is East Boarder Rd. At the quick set of lights you will take another sharp left this puts you on Fellsway E. This will dump you down by Ravine Rd. The good thing about this is if you want to be on the Fellsway heading towards Saugus you don’t have to worry about taking that left at the Pond St. lights. If you intend to go down W. Wyoming just take an easy right onto Ravine Rd.
Fred July 27, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I cannot agree more with all the above posts. I live near the intersection of Washington St and Fellsway East. No problems on my morning commute travelling up Ravine, but I typically have experienced a 10-20 minute increase on the return commute. I would try Janine's alternate route if it weren't for the "No Right Turn" from the Fellsway onto Washington St which then forces me to cut through Glen and then Lynde Sts just to get back to Washington. I have seen Karen's "nightmare" experience on nearly a daily basis since the change. The "Wild West" of Ravine and Fellsway is nothing compared to this. Also, what is up with the large orange traffic "cones" on the island at upper section of Ravine entering on Woodland Road? If you drive an economy car like I do, these cones literally block your view of oncoming cars, making it more difficult safely make the turn onto Woodland Rd.
mark patterson July 30, 2012 at 02:16 PM
When did the DCR get the authority to decide if a public way becomes a one-way street? I was under the assumption that the Massachusetts DOT would be the authority having jurisdiction.That being said;if the Fellsway and adjoining recreational lands are under state jurisdiction and Stoneham and Melrose receive no tax revenue from said land then perhaps the DCR should be the ones providing police,fire and EMS services to these area.Cities and towns are cash-strapped as it is.How about charging back to the state every time one of these services is provided by a municipality on a state road or property?

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