County and residents agree to no school traffic through Sutton Park

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    ANDOVER-Residents of Sutton Park can breathe a little easier now that they know they will not have to inhale the fumes from school busses that were expected to travel through their neighborhood under a county proposal. The plan to have school buses from Florence M. Burd School redirected through the neighborhood to alleviate traffic back-ups on Newton-Sparta Road is "off the table," according to resident Dave Copleton. Copleton and Doug Carnegie met Wednesday, May 25 with County Engineer Eric Grove to discuss the proposed plan. Also attending was Assistant County Engineer John Risko, Senior Civil Engineer Donald DeVore, and County Planner Eric Schneider. The officials said they would consider an alternative plan and asked the residents for their suggestions. "They gave us a lot of time," said Copleton expressing satisfaction with the attention the residents received from the county officials. "I felt very good that they gave us an opportunity to voice our opinion. They scrapped the whole idea saying it was off the table." The alternative plans suggested included the creation of turning lanes and installations of "smart lights" that adjusts depending on traffic flow. Currently, a police officer directs traffic during drop-off and pick-up times. Many residents attended a board of education meeting earlier in this month and were told by Board President John Morgan that no approval had been given to the plan to reroute school buses. "We were under the impression that the town council and school board had approved it, and so we voiced our objections to it," said Copleton, explaining that the area residents had been misinformed into believing that the plan had been authorized. When they (the county) presented the first time, they were looking for feedback at that first public meeting. They were surprised that to see so many from Sutton Park were against it. It opened their eyes." According to Copleton, devices have been installed on Limecrest Road, Park Place, and Terrace Drive to get a better idea of the number of cars traveling through the area. He believes a traffic light will be in place before school begins in the fall.