Three solutions to traffic problem

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:22

    FRANKLIN — Traffic trouble at two roads off Route 23 are about to ease up. Residents of Ridgewood Avenue and Walsh Road had complained that drivers use their streets as shortcuts off the busy highway. Three solutions will be put into play. Stop signs will be erected: one at the end of Walsh, entering into Ridgewood. Another at the end of Ridgewood entering into Walsh. The speed limit in the area will be cut from 25 mph to 15 mph. Ridgewood will be closed during morning and afternoon hours when school children go to and from school. If school is not in session, the road won’t close. The borough can institute these solutions on its own. But the state Department of Transportation must approve the fourth: turning the bottom of Walsh into a one-way. That would prevent traffic from turning off the highway onto the residential road. These solutions came from a meeting of the borough council’s public safety committee, chaired by Mark Zschack, which met twice recently at the site of the affected roads. Five recommendations came from the group. The fifth has been controversial. That plan would have the borough limit nearby Parker Street to one-way status only. Motorists could then only travel away from the Ridgewood/Walsh area from Buckwheat Road to High Street. Council members say, though, that if the first four plans work, they won’t need this. “We’re going to move forward on the (first) four components, and we’re going to hold Parker Street as a reserve option,” said Richard Wolak, Franklin’s Administrator. “If the first four components adequately address the problem, then the Parker Street option will be abandoned. And if the DOT refuses to sanction the reconfiguration of Walsh as it enters 23, then we will move forward on the other three recommendations separately. At the next (council) meeting, we’ll introduce an amended ordinance with all four components.”