Terri Lehane wrote the following letter to the editor

To the editor:

First, the curb cut onto Route 1 from the new High School/Middle School should be permanently closed and fenced in when construction work is completed. A traffic study that was done regarding Route 1 traffic around the time that school is dismissed is not realistic. Route 1 is a high-speed highway, and no certain time--every day--can be predictable as a “slow-down” of traffic. This is not realistic. Some students have only had their driver’s licenses for a matter of months. Students should not be allowed to leave school and drive onto Route 1, one of the busiest and fastest-moving highways in Massachusetts.

An example given at the Building Committee Meeting of Jan. 27, 2020: a tractor-trailer pulled out of the curb cut, was able to stay in the slow lane and didn’t have to go into the next lane. This is not a valid example of safety. If a vehicle traveling at the 50-55 miles per hour speed limit on Route 1 was in the fast lane or middle lane and needed to get over to the slow lane in a hurry to get onto the Main Street off-ramp - just when a vehicle was exiting the curb cut at the same time onto Route 1 – this collision could have dire consequences.

Second: Parking spaces at the High School/Middle School. The present plan for some parking spaces at the new High School/Middle School is two lanes around and next to the schools. Vehicles should not be allowed to park next to the schools for two reasons. Number one, this is a safety hazard - allowing anyone to have too close an access to the school buildings. Number two, this is a health hazard, as the cooling system for the new High School/Middle School draws air from the outside. Idling of vehicles waiting for students or delivery vehicles would cause exhaust fumes into the entire air and ventilation system of the school buildings.

Third: The 1,250-seat stadium. This stadium should be built in a different location other than on the new High School/Middle School property. Traffic congestion, a high volume of noise from events, and bright stadium lights are not a fair concept for neighbors.

Large open spaces are limited in Saugus. However, an alternative location for the stadium might be Breakheart Reservation. The town can request a special permit from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation who manages Breakheart Reservation to allow building a 1,250-seat stadium with parking spaces on land at the beginning of Breakheart’s 652 acres. It’s a perfect location - away from neighbors and no traffic congestion.

Not building a 1,250-seat stadium on the new High School/Middle School property will also open up space for proper and sufficient parking spaces.

Fourth: 40B Saugus Ridge development. The 40B low income development permit at Saugus Ridge should not have been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals for the following reasons:

1. There is a 65-year-old Tennessee Gas pipeline in this land that is located near Cliff Road, Appleton Street, Prankers Pond, McDonald’s, Burger King and Walmart. Dynamiting of the Saugus Ridge is estimated to take 31 to 40 days. If vibrations to this gas pipeline cause a rupture, there would be a catastrophic explosion. There recently was a gas rupture in Corpus Christi, Texas, that caused flames to shoot 150 feet in the air. No dynamiting should be allowed in this area. This is a huge safety issue for the residents of the Town of Saugus.

2. Low income families would have to drive their children to school, sports participations, visiting friends – everywhere. Their car expenses will increase, otherwise children will be isolated and stranded in the apartments on Saugus Ridge. This will cause financial and time-consuming hardships on families. A 40B development is supposed to help low income families not make life worse for them.

3. Saugus Ridge is located off Route 1 in back of McDonald’s and Burger King with only one access road in or out.

4. Traffic onto Route 1 is estimated to increase by 1,364 vehicles, which Route 1 certainly does not need.

5. Saugus Ridge does not have one advantage to be classified as a 40B development and is certainly a disadvantage to low income families, surrounding neighbors, and Prankers Pond.

Fifth: Wheelabrator Saugus. Wheelabrator Saugus has been polluting the air of Saugus, Revere, Lynn and other surrounding communities for too many years. The MassDEP decision for a modified plan to allow Wheelabrator Saugus to purchase emission control credits is absurd and wrong. Clean air cannot be purchased. Clean air has to be supplied by Wheelabrator Saugus itself, which they cannot do because the facility is too old, outdated, and insufficiently able to burn trash into clean air or clean ash. Wheelabrator Saugus burns trash to toxic ash and piles hills of toxic ash onto the Rumney Marsh, continually polluting the very air we breathe, the Rumney Marsh that the facility sits on, and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean. All 14 communities that presently bring their trash to Wheelabrator Saugus should begin procedures to locate other trash-burning incinerators. This should be court-ordered.

Wheelabrator Saugus has been given too much leniency for too long by the MassDEP. Saugus, Revere and Lynn need an excellent lawyer to legally obtain a court order to have Wheelabrator Saugus cease operations, leave Saugus, and remove the entire facility off the Rumney Marsh.

Terri Lehane, Burrill Street