Amherst’s North Pleasant Street will be one-way along Kendrick Park

Staff Writer
Monday, December 20, 2021

AMHERST — A series of changes to a section of North Pleasant Street along Kendrick Park, aimed at improving pedestrian safety near a new playground, will be undertaken by the Department of Public Works next spring.

Town Council voted unanimously Monday to make North Pleasant a one-way street from McClellan Street north to Triangle Street, and to add a series of angled back-in parking spaces along Kendrick Park. At the same time, existing parallel parking spaces on the north side of the road between Hallock and Triangle streets will be removed.

District 1 Councilor Cathy Schoen asked the only questions before the vote, wondering why the one-way direction should be north, and whether left turns from North Pleasant onto Triangle should be prohibited.

Evan Ross, the District 4 councilor who chairs the Town Services and Outreach Committee that reviewed the plans, said that having vehicles going southbound would encourage cut-through traffic, something to be avoided due to the proximity of the playground.

For those who can’t make a left turn, DPW Superintendent Guilford Mooring said an option is to make a right turn onto Triangle Street and then circle around the roundabout. 

Mooring said it is possible a “no left turn” sign would be installed, but this may be in effect only at certain times of day when traffic is heavy, usually when commuter traffic is heading to and from the University of Massachusetts.

The back-in parking spaces are seen as safer for families who will be bringing their children to play at the playground.

As part of the recommendation to the council, a “complete streets” approach will be used to maximize bicycle and pedestrian safety and use, including consideration of a separate southbound lane for cyclists either at street or sidewalk level. 

In addition, the Disability Access Advisory Committee will be consulted on the number and placement of accessible spaces, and decisions will be made at some point on which spaces will be metered and which will be open to those with permits.