Exeter, NH’s Swasey Parkway Reopens Tuesday With a Difference
Swasey Parkway in Exeter will reopen to vehicles for the first time since 2020 on Tuesday but only to one way traffic.
The Select Board closed the road along the Squamscott River under Gov. Chris Sununu's emergency orders during the pandemic. It allowed access to the Parkway area while observing social distancing. The Parkway was kept closed even as the order expired citing public safety concerns.
Board chair Niko Papakonstantis at the August 23 meeting said that based on the advice of the town's attorney a decision was necessary about reopening the road. The Select Board was named by the Swasey family trust in the early 1930s to oversee the Parkway.
The board voted unanimously to open the road one-way starting Tuesday from Water Street at the south end to Newfields Road. Parking along the Squamscott River side will be allowed.
"To keep it discontinued even for public safety at this point we've kind of reached the road as a board where we either need to open it up completely or, within our authority, open it up one-way," Papakonstantis said.
The chair encouraged continued discussion about the future of vehicle traffic on the Parkway leading to a vote at the town meeting in the spring.
"It gives folks an opportunity to continue enjoying it. I look at this as a resolution to keep people safe, keep people happy while we continue to have discussion," Papakonstantis said.
Exeter Police advised pedestrians to use caution while crossing the Parkway.