Michitson to Request Traffic Study for Downtown Over Marijuana Concerns

Haverhill City Councilor John A. Michitson. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier)

Growing opposition from Haverhill residents towards the sale of marijuana downtown could trigger a traffic and parking study for the Washington Street area. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

City Council President John A. Michitson will address concerns surrounding future marijuana sales in the downtown area at the council’s next meeting this Tuesday.

Michitson is expected to make a request for traffic and parking studies to be done on Washington Street. This is in reaction to mounting concerns over traffic and safety issues Haverhill residents believe will occur if a marijuana establishment were to open on Washington Street. The street is one of eight areas in Haverhill featured in an overlay zone identifying where in the city an establishment could open.

As WHAV previously reported, the Haverhill Administration and Finance Committee approved the exclusion of Merrimack Street from being part of this zone on Thursday. However, plenty of residents attended the meeting to voice their disapproval of any marijuana sales downtown, including Washington Street, believing it would cause excessive traffic and present safety issues for local children.

Haverhill’s Planning Board and the council will vote on approving the overlay zone sometime this January, while a moratorium forbidding the opening of marijuana establishments in Haverhill is scheduled to expire on Mar. 1, 2019.

The council has a number of other items to discuss during the meeting, Councilor Timothy J. Jordan invited YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller to discuss Y’s Corner Stone project. The project serves as a collaborative program that provides essential daily living support to cancer patients, survivors and their immediate family.

Amongst the services provided by the project include a complimentary YMCA membership to cancer survivors and their families, a complimentary week of summer camp for children of families enrolled in the program and a schedule of drop-in babysitting for parents currently in treatment.

Christine Rau of the Haverhill Brightside program will speak to the council. The Haverhill Brightside program is dedicated to the beautification of city properties, including the Global Peace Memorial, Riverfront Park and Duston Park.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini is expected to submit several ordinances and memorandums related to salary discussions between city officials, the Haverhill Citizen Center, the water and wastewater departments of the Department of Public Works and Teamsters Union Local 170.