WHITMAN — With the completion of the South Avenue paving work comes new parking restrictions and traffic lines along one stretch of that roadway.
Selectmen on Tuesday, Sept. 13 approved a Department of Public works plan making the changes from Raynor Avenue to Pleasant Street.
“This is the area, when you come down Pleasant Street where the old fire station used to be,” said Town Administrator Frank Lynam.
Traffic along that stretch of Pleasant Street has the option of turning right on South Avenue or going straight onto Franklin Street. Traffic on South Avenue can go straight, turn left onto Pleasant Street or turn right further along to Franklin Street.
The problem area has been the area where traffic merges from South Avenue to Pleasant Street and vice versa.
“That right turn [before the old fire station] is actually a two-way street,” Lynam said. “Part of the problem is that people who are planning to go on Pleasant Street, cross over at least 100 feet before they need to, basically driving in the wrong direction on South Avenue.”
Eliminating parking from the corner of Raynor to the lot where Whitman Ford used to be, and painting new lines to direct traffic flow are being used to eliminate that problem. Stripe lines will later be added to indicate areas that are “no car zone.”
Department of Transportation engineers have worked on the change.
Selectmen also approved an overnight parking ban on all streets from Dec. 1 to April 1, 2017 to ease snow removal efforts during the winter months.
The Selectmen observed a moment of silence in honor of Jenny Kirby, a longtime third-grade teacher and union official in Whitman, who died this week, and Leslie Cohen, who was chairman of Whitman’s former K-8 School Committee. Cohen died in August.
“Leslie Cohen was the reason I got into this at all,” said Selectmen Chairman Carl Kowalski, who started out on the School Committee. “She was just a chairperson par excellence.”
Kowalski noted it was ironic the two women would die in such close proximity to each other as they were often adversaries in contract negotiations.
“They were on opposite ends of the argument all the time,” he said. “But because of that — I don’t want to call it tension — but that activity, we had a school system you could be proud of in the K-8 days because of both of them.”
In other business, Selectman Dan Salvucci said he has been receiving complaints about people leaving TVs on their front lawns and sidewalks for trash pickup and reminded people the town’s hauling company will no longer pick up the TVs.
Residents have to take the TVs to the DPW for disposal for a fee of between $15 and $25 or the appliances can be dropped off at the Dollars for Scholars Electronics Recycling Day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 for a similar fee.
“One way or another, discarded TVs have to come off people’s front lawns,” he said. “They’ll be nothing but a hazard. Kids are walking to school and when it comes snow time and they’re plowing the sidewalks we really don’t want them hitting TVs.”
Selectmen also approved the signing of an agreement allowing the auction of property at 35 East Ave.