"No Left Turn" Signs Approved for Golden Cove Road
New Fletcher Street, New Spaulding Street, and Dawn Drive will be a little safer on weekday mornings; the Golden Cove truck exclusion debate rages on.
The Chelmsford Board of Selectmen approved three “No Left Turn” signs to be posted on Golden Cove Road during its meeting last night.
The signs will limit left turns onto New Fletcher Street, New Spaulding Street, and Dawn Drive.
The turn limitations will be in effect every Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will be effective immediately.
“I’ve witnessed and almost been hit by many cars when walking my dog,” Debbie Malone, a New Fletcher Street resident, explained to the board prior to their unanimous vote.
A more hotly debated issue regarding Golden Cove Road was also on the table at last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
Residents, unhappy about the amount of trucks going up and down Golden Cove Road, are seeking an exclusion on heavy trucks in the area due to safety concerns including the area’s bike path.
One speaker, a proponent of the proposed exclusion, noted this Patch article as a display of residents expressing their desire for a safer road.
A similar proposal was put forth in 1989; it did not come to fruition then, and 23 years later, the same result appears imminent.
“We don’t want to submit a proposal that will be shot down by the state,” explained board chairman Jon Kurland.
Kurland was firm in explaining that the final decision is made not by the board, but by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The board may vote on whether or not it will approach MassDOT with a proposal during its next meeting on January 7.
The board's stance stems from a traffic study last month that determined that less than 3 percent of Golden Cove Road’s traffic includes large trucks.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation requires that 5-8 percent of a road's traffic must include large trucks in order to qualify for an exclusion.
The quality of the traffic study is still in question.
Because of Veterans’ Day, many residents believe that many large trucks were not on the road at the time of the study which was conducted by the Chelmsford Police Department.
A third party will perform another study beginning on Wednesday and concluding on Thursday. These results will be a key factor in determining whether or not they choose to ask MassDOT for the exclusion.
“I believe that if we do submit these, we won’t get any satisfaction,” said board member George R. Dixon Jr.
“I don’t think it would be wise to pursue this,” added board member Pat Wojtas.
Town Engineer Steve Jahnle addressed the board and explained that roughly 8,625 vehicles use Golden Cove Road on a typical weekday.
“The exclusion would be for trucks two and a half tons and over,” said Jahnle.
A potential exclusion would cause major problems for businesses but municipal vehicles would be granted an exception.
Business owner Miles Hogan spoke out against the potential truck exclusion.
“It’s essential to my company,” Hogan said. He pointed out the numerous taxes that he and his business pay and believed an exclusion could be “funneling business to competition.”
Hogan’s landscaping business has been using the road since the late 1940s.
As for the new “No Left Turn” signs, expect to see them very soon. Town Engineer Steve Jahnle admitted that the signs had been ordered prior to last night’s board meeting.
Are you happy about the new “No Left Turn” signs? Should Golden Cove Road have a truck exclusion? Tell us in the comments!