TELL US: Should Trucks Be Banned From Golden Cove Road?

The town wants to ban trucks from traveling down the residential street heading under I-495. Do you agree?


Between Route 129 (Billerica Road) and Route 110 (Chelmsford Street), Golden Cove Road provides a shortcut for those looking to skip past Town Center traffic.

However, town officials have cited concerns with significant amounts of fast moving motorists on the mainly residential road, hoping that the state will grant a ban on larger trucks on the road.

That ban was once in place, with a current restriction of a 14 foot, one inch height limit remaining for vehicles moving under the PFC James Alden Doughty Bridge.

Today we want to ask your thoughts.

Would banning larger trucks force them to into the Town Center or cause delays on Exit 29 on Route 3 (Billerica Road) or Exit 34 on I-495?

Are you concerned about the large trucks possibly crashing in the densely packed residential area past the bridge, or even getting trapped under the PFC James Alden Doughty Bridge like with the recent Spaghettiville crash in Lowell?

Are there other issues that aren't on the radar in this discussion?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Bruce December 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Is it really to skip past the center traffic? I thought it was to bypass the 495/3 interchange (trucks, that is).
Anna Bucciarelli December 07, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Absolutely ... ban trucks from using all residential roads! They are a hazard to every-day drivers as far as I'm concerned, not to mention the damage done to our roads. It's difficult to se what's in front of them or behind them and at this time of year, with the blinding sun (will get worse with snow cover), it really is dangerous for us plain ol' car drivers. Get them off our roads completely!!!!!
Anna Bucciarelli December 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Andrew ... why must I sign in each time I comment?
Irene December 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The amount of traffic on Golden Cove Rd is horrendous. You have commuter traffic, school (Center) traffic, and now BIG TRUCK traffic on a small, narrow street! Not to mention that the BIKE PATH is also included in this mix and for people to enjoy the path they have got to be EXTREMELY careful when approaching this crossing as it lies at the bottom of an incline on Golden Cove that when driving you do not see right away. It is short of a miracle that no one has been hit by oncoming traffic. How fast can these big tractor trailors stop when necessary???? There is an alternate route. Route 3 is within a mile of Golden Cove and can handle trucks quite nicely. One must ask, why did this change take place when for years trucks where excluded.
Maria Karafelis December 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
No way, the area is too congested to carry that type of heavy (weight) traffic.
Amy December 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Yes ban them and ban them on Stedman street! 18 wheelers race down that street isn't all hours of the day.
Peggy Dunn December 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Where are they coming from and where are they going? Golden Cove connects Rte 129 to Rte 110, Are they coming off the highway or getting on the highway. If they are trying to avoid the Cener, both roads lead to the Center. Why are they on that road? Whatever the reason, they should not be on that street.
Donna Reed December 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I think this is a tough one. The town has allowed a LOT of industry in, and in fact, has sought them out, and these trucks are supplying those businesses. I dont know how you can seek industry to come to town and then tell them they can't use our roads to get their supplies...Most of these trucks are coming (and or going) to and from the industries all along Rte. 129, Turnpike and Riverneck Roads. Most are traveling to Rte. 495. If they don't use Golden Cove Road, the next alternative is probably Wilson Street, which is even less conducive to handling these trucks. Personally, I think the traffic on Golden Cove Road is a nightmare anyway...but just like Rte. 4, the bulk of the traffic is NOT trucks at all, it's cars. And trying to get on Rte. 4 during rush hour is next to impossible. ( In addition, many of the side roads are used as cut-thru's..Erlin Rd. to Dalton is HORRIFIC) Just as it is next to impossible to travel Golden Cove Road during rush hours. Not sure what the fix is... ..don't allow any more businesses to come to town? Probably not feasible. Making some of these roads off-limits during certain hours of the day, Mon-Friday might be something to consider.
Muriel McGrann December 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM
question? This is a short cut from one Interstate to another? If so why should the town roads support interstate traffic or do State roads legally permit such traffic?If legal banning of truck traffic from 495 to 3 or vice versa is posted on each interstate as not permitted then is not this usage subject to a fine by the Town if such law is violated. If this involves the State (to ban such traffic on State roads in a town) will it ever be possible to require interstate traffic to stay out and off of Town roads? Is it possible to restrict large trucks from a local street and thus solving this streets problem but creating the same problem somewhere else. Sounds like a Town problem .....restrict short cuts from one major hiway to another but not restricting local truck traffic.....lawyers what is the answer??????
Donna Reed December 07, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Muriel..not sure that these trucks are "interstate" per se. They are supporting the businesses in OUR town and then going on to their next stop. What does the town do...say "Welcome Business......we will give you a GREAT tax rate if you come here.....but..Oh, BTW...we are not going to allow you to use our roads to get your supplies"? Not sure we can do that and appear very "welcoming" ....
George December 07, 2012 at 02:59 PM
This makes sense? I never realized that significant amounts of fast moving motorists was caused by truck traffic. Do town officials have statistics on the speed of traffic by type of vehicle to support this? How many trucks a day are speeding down this road, and where will they speed to when they are banned? Truckers use this route because it is the fastest and most convenient way for them to get their business done. If there were better alternatives, they'd take advantage of them. Before putting a ban in place, someone should study that and make sure they don't create a bigger, more dangerous problem someplace else. Due to the restriction of trucks on Route 4, I saw in the past month an 18-wheeler making a U-Turn in the midst of the 110/4 intersection and another's trailer strike a passenger car inches from the driver's head. Remarkably, the car driver had no traffic stopped behind her and was able to back up far enough to prevent the trailer from running over the top of the car. Putting a notice up about a road restriction that is only noticeable once one has committed to turning is BAD BAD BAD and it's done all the time. If a ban is placed, I hope signage is clear and well in advance so truckers can compensate.
Irene December 07, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Donna, do you know that rte 4, North Road, has a ban on trailor trucks? It does. How did North Rd get the ban on trucks? Trailors can bypass the center by going to 495 to rte 3 to 129 business zone and visa versa.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Anna, Happens to me to every time I turn off my computer. The tech guys told me they're working on it. If it's still an issue, I'll ping them again.
Tom Maggiacomo December 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I think they should ban the trucks. However the ban on truck traffic for North Road has little effect. Every day 20 to 30 trucks travel on North Road!
Andrew Giannino December 07, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Much of this would not even be an issue if in the past plans were implemented to add the on-ramp to 495 north on rt 4 and the off ramp from 495 south onto rt 4. It has been said by one of the reports that the traffic on Golden Cove is 8000 cars per day. I am safe to bet that not even 1% is heavy truck traffic. To say they are flying down that rd is hard to believe with the curves. The wilson st cut-through is not an option for 18-wheelers unless they widen it. Until you get behind the wheel of one of these trucks don't try to assume you know how to drive one. These truckers are only trying to support their families in the same tough economy we all are, lets try to make it easier. As Donna stated these are not trucks from out of state using Golden Cove as a cut through they are trucks that just delivered to one of your local buisnesses. As for the freeman rail trail, there needs to be a light at this crossing with a red light ahead before the hill.
Mark Quimby December 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Yes ban the 18 wheel trucks. the traffic issue will not go away but at least the road will be safer. My other concern is the bike path crossing. There should be more visible signs so the drivers have a more advanced notice to slow down.
myron December 07, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Traffic at rush hour in Chelmsford and surrounding towns now is a nightmare morning and pm rushes combined. You really can't get anywhwere. North road, Stedman St, Golden Cove Road, Rt 4 are all choked. If you ban trucks on Golden Cove the center will NEVER clear. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
RALPH BARISANO December 07, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Anna Bucciarelli December 07, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Totally agree about visible signage ... I swallow hard whenever I approach that crossing. Never mind goos going to/from local businesses, as Donna says ... she is right, however, danger is a strong consideration ... Golden Cove is a highly residential area, it's a short, narrow road, heavily travelled all times of day, not to mention during rush hours in the AM & PM and big trucks only exacerbate the situation. Gets downright terrifying and I think they should be banned, no question about it ... anybody listening?
Donna Reed December 07, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Irene, I was NOT aware that there was a truck ban on Rte. 4. However, once again, the problem with traffic on Rte. 4 has no connection to trucks, and EVERY connection to NH auto plates ! Also..these trucks are not using Golden Cove Road to by-pass the center. I have seen MANY of these trucks going through the center. If they have to service businesses on Rte. 110, they have little alternative. They are using Golden Cove Road to get to Rte. 495. And George is right..these trucks are not speeding ANYWHERE through town. Perhaps on Rte. 495, or Rte. 3 they may be "speeding", but certainly not on Golden Cove Road. As for the bike path, the spot where it crosses Golden Cove Road is NOT a "cross-walk".....it is simply a place in the road that the bike path crosses. The people using the bike path have a Stop sign in both directions. Of course, it is good driving sense to slow down as you approach, but I don't think there have been any safety issues concerning the bike path to date. And yes Ralph, a BOAT-LOAD of money was spent widening Rte. 3, but apparantly it STILL isn't wide enough, because the traffic coming both ways on North Road during rush hour is abominable. Trying to take a left turn onto upper Dalton Road from North Road in the morning is next to impossible. NO ONE will let you in. If I had my druthers, there'd be TOLL BOOTHS at the entrance AND exit to Rte. 4/North Road. I'd be willing to bet THAT would stop the traffic.
Benjamin Tracy December 08, 2012 at 12:48 AM
While it might be nice and provincial to not have trucks on residential streets, the fact is the placement of that road has made it a connecting road, and it's going to have traffic. There's a reason the restriction was removed; the road doesn't meet the criteria for the state to allow the restriction. We should be more concerned with making the road handle the traffic, rather than making the traffic handle the road. There are other ways of keeping the road safe other than preventing all truck traffic. We could for example put a traffic light at the rail trail that bikers where bikers could get across more safely when there's heavy traffic. If I'm not mistaken there are sidewalks on that street already so there's no clear and present danger to pedestrians either. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it either, but a truck restriction just seems illogical to me. Make the road safe for the traffic that wants to pass through instead. (Along the same lines, I would argue for a traffic light rather than a 4 way stop at Steadman and Dalton.)
karen bondeson December 08, 2012 at 01:22 AM
i have lived on golden cove rd for 28+ years, in which i have seen many accidents. this is a residential road that has been made into a major highway. there are blind spots, curves in the road and now we have the bike path. we waited 20 years for this bike path and with it comes alot of pedestrian traffic. the pedestrians from the bike path and children walking to school or a bus stop are in jeopardy with the 18 wheelers that have now been allowed to drive down our street. i would like to see these trucks banned and re-routed. karen bondeson
Irene December 08, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I like the idea of toll boths Donna. Wouldn't it be great to solve our town's money worries! Perhaps our taxed would go down! And pigs would fly. ;-D
Chuck Crannell December 08, 2012 at 02:56 AM
This road has been grid-lock during commute hours for well over a decade (I know it was in '98 when I commuted down it). When there was the "fake" ban, I don't think truckers complained. Now that the unapproved signs are removed, of course they (and anyone, really) would use the shortcut if they could. I think making the truck ban on that road official is a good idea because it is a residential area. Although I wonder how bad the speeding of trucks really is (traffic analysis results, please?).
Donna Reed December 08, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Irene...may we BOTH live long enough to see pigs fly. Karen...I understand where you are coming from...but as Benjamin has pointed out, Golden Cove Road is a "connecting" road. Does it carry too much traffic, or COURSE it does. But so do MANY of the roads and streets in our town now. Most of us are aware of the traffic issues ONLY in the area we live....and probably don't care much about the rest of the town's traffic problems. We are "stuck" at the "crossroad" of Rtes. 3 and 495. We have a LOT of industry in town that has brought us little more than a LOT of traffic...( certainly a higher tax rate might help those of us who live here some, but as Irene has pointed out.... that doesn't seem to be a high criteria in Chelmsford) I know I avoid Golden Cove Road whenever possible during the week, but then I also avoid North Road, Steadman Street, and the Market Basket and Stop & Shop area.....( ever try to get through that stretch on a Sat. morning? It's a NIGHTMARE) Not sure what the solution is, but somehow DON'T think that banning trucks is going to keep the REST of the estimated 7,500 plus CARS from traveling that road every day. There may very well be many accidents in and about town, but if we want to be honest, AND check the statistics, I don't think that 18 wheelers play a big part in those accidents. As Ralph pointed out, joining a Safety Committee may help to offer a solution or two.
Sam December 09, 2012 at 05:18 AM
WARREN AVE needs much attention regarding trucks!!! We have vibrations from an indent in the road,& everytime a truck comes, the ground shakes! We are inundated with dump trucks, construction trucks, Verizon/comcast cutting through to the center, cars using it for a cut through, and heavy tree and construction trucks, all coming off route 3, and up/down Warren Ave constantly... The town needs to pay more attention to this situation, and that of speedsters.. The trucks are going over 30mph as well. They come to Turnpike Rd, and short cut to the center via Warren Ave.. Our streets need restrictions from trucks.
Sam December 09, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Agree! Warren Ave is a never ending, 2 way, highway now! All kinds of dump trucks, construction trucks, moving trucks, delivery trucks, it's non stop..... and at the end of the road, they get out to Boston Rd/Route 4 for cut throughs. The road is wearing down, and as such, allows the trucks to hit a dip in the road and the houses shake! How much longer must we have these heavy trucks bombarding us day and night? And they're traveling over 35mph, for sure. In addition, we're a local "speedway" for cars during the morning and evening rush hour.. Restrictions, would be appreciated.
Christine Kitsos December 09, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Yes and ban them from Stedman. I live on Stedman st and I am seeing more and more 18 wheelers. Stedman st is a nice residential street that is being overrun with trucks and traffic in general. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to get down my street in the morning.
Ralph Barisano January 31, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Irene,late response-- A local businessman(not on Golden Cove) complained after 6 years of the sign being in place. NO one could find the initial paper work so the state said down with the signs.We had 2 accidents and 6 major truck incidents in December alone.Ralph.


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