Amherst residents lament safety of street
> AMHERST – Homeowners on Merrimack Road pleaded with town officials last week to fix what they call a dangerous section of road.
During more than 30 years his family has lived there, said Kevin Dadoly, there have been "countless accidents" on his stretch of the road, between Cemetery Fields and Corduroy Road, which he blames on the pitch and curve of the road lounging in two directions.
"Our house has been hit by cars twice," he told selectmen. "The house across the street once, and the house down the street twice."
A few years ago the town did some work to improve the situation, he said, by regrading the front lawn of the property next door and having a telephone pole moved. They also talked about bringing the level of the road up to improve sight lines.
Recently the neighbors heard the project had been called off, which Dadoly called "incredibly frustrating, because the road is still not safe for drivers or for residents.
"We know the sounds cars make when they go off the road," he said. "Please don’t throw away money that’s been spent. We’re so very close."
Selectmen said they would ask Town Administrator Jim O’Mara and DPW Director Bruce Berry to look into it once more.
"It’s a pretty complex issue," said Chairman Dwight Brew,
On Monday, O’Mara told the Cabinet that he had called a halt to the project, because the road is in much better shape than some other roads in town.
Also, he said, not all residents of Merrimack Road are in favor of the planned change in road contour.
Nevertheless, he planned to talk with Berry today, he said, and is not sure yet how they will resolve the situation.
Brianna Green, Dadoly’s next door neighbor, said every year cars, usually driven by high school students, wind up down the embankment next to her house, and she was nearly killed two winters ago right after her son was born when deep snow completely blocked the sight of cars heading east.
"We couldn’t see coming out the driveway," she said. "We are not exaggerating this issue."
Paul Tripp, who lives across the road, said nowhere else in Amherst are houses being hit by cars the way they are here and reminded town officials that Merrimack Road was where retired fire chief John Bachman was hit by a car as he tried to retrieve his mail.
Janis Dadoly said later that the most recent severe accident occurred in the summer of 2014 – a hit and run that took off a piece of their house, knocked down a tree and tore up their driveway.
"The town has invested all this money," and it seems to be about 80 percent done," she said.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.