Golden Cove Truck Exclusion Unlikely
The town will seek alternate traffic solutions with help from the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments.
The board’s Vice Chairman Matthew Hanson updated the town on the status of the potential exclusion after discussing its feasibility with NMCOG.
The potential truck exclusion gained no traction with NMCOG.
“The state would most likely only grant that [truck exclusion] in extremely serious situations where there were a number of serious truck incidents recorded on that road,” Hanson explained.
“We discussed this for probably about an hour with them; they shared some of the same concerns as the whole board has expressed already.
“They thought that they might be able to tweak some of the traffic lights there a little to help reduce some of the traffic on the roads and help it flow a little bit easier.
“They’re going to get back to the town with anything they come up with as far as new ideas to help resolve the traffic issues on the road,” Hanson said.
A time frame for recommendations from NMCOG may not be as extended as residents would assume.
“Within the next two months I imagine we’ll hear back from them after they do some of the new counts and figure out if there’s anything else they can do,” Hanson said.
Board Chairman Jon Kurland added his thoughts to quell the concerns of the worried residents on Golden Cove and surrounding roads.
“The truck problem is a big problem, I realize, but if I were living on Golden Cove or one of those side streets it’s the 11,000 cars per day that would have me concerned and if we could do some things to divert traffic maybe some of the trucks would go that way as well,” Kurland said.
Kurland was also quick to praise the work of NMCOG and its ability to help Chelmsford in this situation.
“They do this work for municipalities,” he confirmed. “This is something that they have a fair amount of expertise in doing; we’re hoping that they can look at the entire area and make some suggestions.”
Kurland reiterated the notion that approaching the state with a request for a truck exclusion could be a waste of time.
“We’re just barely at halfway as far as the truck exclusion would go. In other words, they want five per cent [heavy truck traffic] and we’re at about 2.5 per cent so what we’re trying to do is investigate it in another way to address the problem.
“We want to leave as many doors open as possible before we submit something to the state and get involved with that,” Kurland concluded.
The discussion has been tabled although it is possible that the topic arises again during open session at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.
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