Board of Selectmen Tables Golden Cove Exclusion Discussion
Town Engineer Steve Jahnle shared new information from a third party traffic study done on Golden Cove Road.
On Monday night, the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen opted to table a discussion on potentially submitting a request to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to have heavy trucks banned from Golden Cove Road.
Town Engineer Steve Jahnle presented information from a third party traffic study that took place in late December which found that about 3 percent of total vehicles on Golden Cove were over 2.5 tons.
Massachusetts typically grants truck exclusions to streets that see between 5-8 percent of its usage come from heavy trucks.
These findings were consistent with those of the Chelmsford Police Department, whose study was discussed at last month’s meeting.
Jahnle went on to explain that a three year analysis from the Chelmsford Police Department showed only four documented accidents on Golden Cove Road. More accidents took place at nearby intersections including twelve at the intersection between Steadman Street and Golden Cove Road.
The board is yet to vote on whether or not they will submit a proposal to the MassDOT requesting a truck exclusion.
The final decision would be made by the state and influenced by the recommendation of the District 4 Traffic Engineer.
Golden Cove Road residents provided ample ancillary details regarding the traffic related dangers in the area. Jahnle confirmed that townspeoples' concerns, included photographs and other documentation, could be sent to the state along with the board’s proposal.
Board members did not pull the trigger on a vote, but decided to table the discussion until their next meeting. The board did not appear to support the idea of sending a proposal to the state.
“I don’t support the truck exclusion,” said board member James Lane. “All of the accidents are car related,” he pointed out, citing the CPD study.
“We need to consider the businesses that use this as a primary route,” added board member Pat Wojtas.
Board member George Dixon quelled unhappy murmurs from residents by aiming the discussion towards a solution that is based on alleviating the larger traffic problem in the area.
“It’s kind of futile now to submit something that keeps on getting shot down,” Dixon said.
“We’re not saying that we don’t want to help,” added board chairman Jon Kurland. “We want to do something that will work,” he added.
Tabling the discussion rather than having the potential proposal get voted down by the board saw residents leave the meeting happily.
“I know that you’re frustrated,” Kurland concluded. “We want to help as best we can.”
The discussion will continue during the board’s next meeting. Possible solutions will be discussed by the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments and brought forth by the board’s Vice Chairman Matthew Hanson.
When the board meets next, either a more creative solution will begin to take shape or the board will vote on whether or not to move forward with a proposal to MassDOT.
Should heavy trucks be excluded from Golden Cove Road? Tell us in the comments!