The latest news from Andover Town Offices and around the community.
Town of Andover Newsletter
August 17, 2023 | No. 014

Elm Square Safety

Elm Square Road Safety Audit Findings Outlined at Community Forum

Following the tragic pedestrian accident at Elm Square that occurred on May 9, the Town of Andover immediately engaged the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to coordinate a Road Safety Audit (RSA) of the intersection. An RSA is a formal examination of existing conditions at a specific roadway or intersection conducted by a multidisciplinary team with the goal of identifying safety improvements that will reduce the frequency and severity of crashes. The completion of the RSA is a central component of the Town’s multi-faceted strategy to assess and implement transportation safety improvements in Elm Square.


After a comprehensive RSA process facilitated by TEC, Inc., a civil engineering firm specializing in transportation infrastructure, and guided by MassDOT standards, a final report detailing the audit’s finding was released this month. The results of the RSA were the focus of the second Elm Square Safety Forum hosted by the Town on Monday, August 7. Several high-impact recommendations that the Town intends to pursue in the immediate term, including the implementation of exclusive pedestrian phasing, were announced during the forum.


The forum, held at the West Middle School Auditorium, marked the second in a series of community meetings on the topic hosted by the Town of Andover, and was a continuation of the community-driven process to improve the safety of Elm Square. An initial Elm Square Safety Forum was held on June 8, at which dozens of residents shared safety concerns about the area and suggestions for improvements.

August 15 Select Board Meeting Brief

Select Board Approves Pedestrian Safety Improvements at Elm Square, Approves Measure to Add 16 Streets to Townwide Speed Restriction, Receives Update on Sidewalk Master Plan

Transportation safety was a significant focus of the Andover Select Board as it met on Tuesday, August 15 in the School Committee Conference Room at the Andover Public Schools Administrative Offices. The Board considered several key measures intended to make roadways safer for all users, approving changes to Elm Square recommended by the recently completed Road Safety Audit, and applying the 25 mile per hour townwide speed limit to 16 additional streets with speed limits that were previously unaltered due to special speed regulations. The Town’s commitment to pedestrian safety was further underscored by the Board’s adoption of a “Vision Zero” resolution which affirms the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and sever injuries.


During the meeting, the Select Board also reviewed the Town’s Sidewalk Master Plan, approved amendments to the Town’s Land Disposition Agreement with Minco for 11 Lewis Street, and approved a series of license applications for local businesses.

Andover Comprehensive Plan
Charting Andover's Future: Planning Board Adopts Andover Comprehensive Plan

On Tuesday, August 8, the Andover Planning Board voted to adopt the 2023 Andover Comprehensive Plan. The Board’s vote marks the culmination of a multi-year process to develop a comprehensive planning document that establishes a cohesive vision for Andover’s future and provides a coordinated roadmap that will guide decisions through the next decade on land use, housing, economic development, open space, recreation, and a host of other priorities.


With the Planning Board’s adoption of the document, the Comprehensive Plan replaces the Town’s 2012 Master Plan, which has functioned as a reference the Board on special permit decisions and recommendations on Town Meeting warrant articles for the past decade. In the years since, Andover has changed significantly, adding 3,720 new residents and experiencing substantial commercial growth. This updated plan aligns with Andover's current identity and future trajectory, ensuring that the town's planning strategies remain relevant and responsive to the ever-changing local context.

Andover Tree Committee

Town Seeking Applicants to Serve on Newly Formed Tree Committee

The Town of Andover is moving forward in the implementation of recently adopted Tree Removal and Replacement Policy by forming a Tree Committee, an important provision of the comprehensive policy adopted by the Select Board in April.


The policy was proposed and adopted with the goal of increasing partnership with residents through improving outreach in instances when the Town plans to remove a tree, beyond what is required under state guidelines. This will be achieved by improving notification protocols through the distribution of doorhangers to nearby residents advising them of a planned tree removal and providing information on replacement options.  The policy will implement a replacement schedule for removed trees of no longer than two years.


The policy also calls for the creation of a Town Tree Committee that will include a wide range of stakeholders and charged with developing a tree bylaw to be considered by Town Meeting. The proposed committee will also be responsible for evaluating best practices for planting trees in public right of ways, weighing the incorporation of tree plantings in construction projects, and assessing the relationship of trees in the Town’s complete street efforts.


The Tree Committee will be comprised on nine members, each appointed to three-year terms.

Haggetts Pond Rail Trail

Town Outlines Plan for Haggetts Pond Rail Trail at

Community Forum

The goal of creating an accessible trail that can be enjoyed by residents of all ages and abilities has been a longstanding priority of the Town of Andover, the Commission on Disability, and community advocates. Despite Andover’s extensive network of recreation trails, none currently meet accessibility standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB), limiting the opportunities for residents with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors within the community.


Through a comprehensive process that took place nearly a decade ago and involved extensive participation from residents with physical, sensory, and cognitive functional limitations, the railbed along the western edge of Haggetts Pond was selected as the most suitable location for an accessible trail. The limited grade of the trail and its relatively straight trajectory were significant factors in the site’s selection over other trails considered through this process.


In 2016, the Town of Andover commissioned a review for inclusive design of an improved rail trail at Haggetts Pond. The study was conducted by the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), a consulting firm specializing in expanding opportunity and enhancing experiences for people of all ages, abilities and cultures through design. A final report from the study release in January 2017 details challenges to accessibility along the existing trail, and opportunities for improvement.


The Haggetts Pond Rail Trail project gained momentum this year with the Town of Andover’s receipt of a $500,000 grant through the Commonwealth MassTrails program and a subsequent reallocation of ARPA funds to support construction of the trail. With design of the trail now in full swing, the Town convened a community meeting on Wednesday, August 16 at Memorial Hall Library to discuss the scope and objectives of the project, and to gather feedback from the community.

Andover Complete Streets

Complete Streets Working Group Appointed to Support Townwide Transportation Safety Planning Effort

The Town of Andover took an important step in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that will guide the creation of safer, more inclusive roadways across Andover by announcing the appointment of a Complete Streets Working Group earlier this month. The working group will be responsible for supporting ongoing outreach and public engagement throughout the Complete Streets process, ensuring the implementation of the Complete Streets Policy, contributing to the development of a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan, and monitoring the success of the Complete Streets program and projects that emerge from it.

Complete Streets are roadways that make travel safe, comfortable, convenient, and accessible for all travel modes – including walking, biking, transit, and vehicles – for people of all ages, and abilities. The Town of Andover began the process of participating in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Funding Program last year by adopting a Complete Streets Policy. The policy, approved by the Select Board in October, establishes the Town’s commitment to creating a roadway network that accommodates the needs of individuals using a variety of transportation modes.

Town of Andover Job Board


The Town of Andover is currently seeking qualified individuals to fill various positions within our organization. Learn more about exciting opportunities to join our team and grow your career at the links below, and apply online today. 


Office Assistant III - Assessor's Department

Equipment Operator I - Public Works 

Maintenance Mechanic - HVAC & Mechanical - Facilities

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