SALISBURY — Drivers looking to cut through School House Lane will have to find another route after selectmen on Monday night approved turning the road into an eastbound one-way street for a six-month trial.
The town was awarded a $250,000 state housing choice capital grant for engineering and infrastructure improvements, including the construction of sidewalks and granite curbing, in the Forest Road neighborhood.
Planning Director Lisa Pearson told selectmen during their meeting Monday that School House Lane is too narrow to successfully accommodate the planned changes.
“If it is a one-way, we could still have a sidewalk and parking in the road,” Pearson said.
Pearson said the town has held three meetings with School House Lane residents and the potential of making it a one-way street had come up along the way.
“If you have gone down School House Lane and you try to take a lefthand turn, there is sort of a blind turn, there is a fence and some new arborvitaes that have been planted sort of along the street line,” Pearson said.
“This started maybe five years ago when the homeowner installed that fence and won’t move it,” he said. “So, it is very difficult to see around that corner if you wanted to take a left on School House Lane.”
Pearson said the town was unable to contact one School House Lane resident whose property has a driveway on Forest Road but all of the rest of the road’s residents had approved the temporary one-way street plan.
“They are all in favor of this six-month trial to see how it works,” Pearson said.
Pearson added that one resident had been hesitant to endorse the project, but eventually agreed to the six-month trial period.
“There was one (resident) in particular who wasn’t going to sign the letter at all,” Pearson said. “We talked about it and discussed the six months and I told her that we would have a follow-up meeting in February before the six months was up to talk about how it went.”
“It’s not during the summer, so it is not the busiest time,” Pearson said. “It is not in the winter when there is plowing and those type of things. So you will be able to see what the issues in terms of that are.”
Selectman Ronalee Ray-Parrott said she was glad to hear that all of the School House Lane residents supported the six-month trial period.
Selectmen voted unanimously to make the change. Selectman Chuck Takesian was absent.
Pearson said the Public Works and the Police departments will determine when the change takes effect.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.