Intersection of Crystal, Liberty Streets Does Not Warrant New Traffic Signal Despite Rankin Death

(File photograph)

Five months after the car crash that killed Haverhill High senior Jordan Rankin, the City of Haverhill plans to add police patrols in the area of Liberty and Crystal Streets to mitigate speed-related issues.

New research conducted by Haverhill Police Officer Lance Powell confirms the volume of traffic at the intersection that saw Owen Foote drive an estimated 70 mph does not merit a new light or signage.

Kenneth Cram presented findings at a recent Traffic and Safety Committee meeting, arguing that U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines stipulate things like a four-way stop can only be implemented at spots with five or more crashes per year. The intersection of Crystal and Liberty Streets—a 30 mph residential zone—has had two accidents in the last six years, Cram said.

“Speeding is the primary issue and No. 1 concern,” he told city stakeholders including Deputy Chief Anthony Haugh, Capt. Robert Pistone, engineer John Pettis and Councilor Melinda E. Barrett.

Powell and Cram reported the area operating at a “very good level of service” from a capacity standpoint.

To maximize pedestrian and driver safety, Haugh—on behalf of Chief Alan R. DeNaro—will add police patrols in the area to curb speeding. One Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School bus route travels the area, and Powell advocated for an increased police presence during after-school hours.

A longer-term solution of reconfiguring the intersection was floated by public safety officials, with the potential of a public park being created and dedicated in Rankin’s memory, Cram said.

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