Truck Exclusion Reconsidered in North Reading
A traffic engineering study could be the solution to the problem with truck traffic on Chestnut and New Streets.
The Board of Selectmen have been consistently trying to resolve an issue with truck traffic on Chestnut and New Streets since residents from the area submitted a petition for a truck exclusion in July 2010. Both raised crosswalks and a truck exclusion have been considered as solutions to the problem. The truck exclusion was approved by the board in late June, but reconsidered at their meeting Monday night.
If the truck exclusion is approved, the alternate route suggested would be Route 62 to Haverhill Street. Several Haverhill Street residents attended the meeting Monday night and asked that the board reconsider their approval of the truck exclusion for Chestnut and New Streets. One Haverhill Street resident had concerns with safety and additional traffic on Haverhill Street, which is already a high-traffic area, he said.
Another Haverhill Street resident presented the board with a petition including 30 signatures of residents who were opposed to the truck exclusion. She said she would have been able to get more, however a lot of residents were on vacation.
Selectmen Chairman Sean Delaney said that he was in support of the board reconsidering their decision regarding the truck exclusion and the alternate route. At their meeting last month, when the board decided to make Route 62 to Haverhill Street the alternate route, they were under the impression that the route had to be within the community. However, Delaney said that he had done additional research and found that the Department of Transportation regulations stated that there were three options:
- The alternate route has to be within the community
- The alternate route can be within the community, but also partially in an adjacent community as long as it uses a state highway
- The alternate route can be partially in an adjacent community if they have written approval from that community
After sharing those regulations, Delaney suggested either Route 28 to Route 128 or Route 93 to Route 128 as options for alternate routes.
Selectman Joe Foti suggested hiring a traffic engineer to assess the situation and provide a solution.
“I think we need to hire a traffic consultant who knows exactly what he’s doing,” Foti said.
Hiring someone who deals with issues similar to this on a regular basis would be well worth the money, he said.
Delaney suggested that the money set aside for the speed tables could possibly be used for the traffic engineer. DPW Director Dick Carnevale said that he would have to ask Mass Highway if they would approve that.
The issue of safety at the intersection of Haverhill and Chestnut Street was also raised at the meeting. The selectmen decided to request a quote from a traffic engineer to find a way to make the intersection safer.
The board ultimately decided to have Carnevale ask for an RFP for a traffic engineering study on Chestnut and New Streets in hopes that a traffic engineer will propose the best solution for the town. The board also chose to have Carnevale ask for an RFP for a traffic engineering study at the intersection of Haverhill and Chestnut Street to increase safety in that area.