Truck Exclusion Back on the Table for Chestnut Street in North Reading

The Board of Selectmen are rethinking their decision on speed tables for Chestnut Street.

The Board of Selectmen approved a truck exclusion for Chestnut Street Monday night after reconsidering their decision regarding installing .

Due to a problem with truck traffic, residents on Chestnut and New streets submitted a  in July of 2010, and the Board of Selectmen approved the installation of four speed tables on Chestnut Street as a solution for the issue in May. 

According to  (DPW) Director Dick Carnevale, the speed tables slow down speed, but do not help traffic volume or deter trucks. Carnevale discussed alternative options with the selectmen Monday night:  

  1. Education and enforcement, no physical devices will be installed. Monitor and evaluate the area every 30 days.
  2. Education and enforcement, plus installation of a temporary island near the park and one speed table in the vicinity of the crest of Chestnut street and monitor and evaluate the area every 30 days. 
  3. This option is the same as option number 2, but also includes a second speed table installed in the vicinity of the DPW garage.
  4. Education and enforcement plus the installation of four speed tables, and to monitor and evaluate the area every 30 days.

There is also the option of going ahead with the truck exclusion, which according to Carnevale would take four weeks or less. He mentioned that getting approval for the truck exclusion does not mean that the town has to use it.

"Just because we get the truck exclusion doesn’t mean we have to implement it," Carnevale said.

When submitting the application for the truck exclusion, the town has to submit an alternate route, within the community, in order for it to be approved. The alternate would be Route 62 to Haverhill Street.

If the truck exclusion is approved, truck route signs will be posted on Route 62 and Haverhill Street and truck exclusion signs will be posted on Chestnut Street.

Acting Fire Chief William Warnock was pleased with the board's decision to reconsider the speed tables.

"The fire department has never been for anything that will slow us down," he said, referring to the speed tables.

The selectmen voted in favor of the truck exclusion, and the new recommended route for trucks will be Route 62 to Haverhill Street.

"We plan to submit the heavy truck exclusion request as soon as possible," Carnevale said. 

Mary B July 09, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I am totally against the truck exclusion on Chestnut Street. If the Highway Dept. approves, there will be more traffic and make the intersection at the center of town even more dangerous. In addition, any individual who has even driven a tractor trailer, or even observed a tractor trailer navigating city streets already knows that it will be quite difficult for the tractor trailer to make a left hand turn from Haverill to Park Strret. I 100% agree with Barry. What is so much attention being given to the few residents of Chestnut Street - who when they bought their homes must have realized it was a major thoroughfare all the while ignoring the poor residents of Pluff Avenue who were living in their homes prior to the approvals for the Great American Tavern..
Barbara Duff July 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Maureen, we also sent a letter to the MassDOT and we will be at the BOS meeting this evening. I have started a petition and have received many signatures, complaints and concerns as well. My husband actually spoke with many of the selectmen and they are NOT even all for it, even though they voted YES to quiet the complaining residents. The town police department is not for it either, and told me that in order for the trucks to even be able to make the turn at Ryers, either Ryers or the Batchelder will have to most likely give up some land to widen that intersection. That is our TOWN CENTER, and other more reasonable towns, like Reading, try their best to keep high traffic OUT of their town center. Not us.....we're directing even more traffic, TRUCK traffic, to go right through our town center......Not very bright!! Thanks for your comments.... Barbara and Al Duff 83 Haverhill Street
Maclen July 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Interesting but totally and painfully without merit examples given, when my parents moved to Chestnut (a town road) back in 1974 from park street west, the traffic was nothing like it is today. It's so bad we've been backing into our driveway for years to avoid taking our lives in our hands by all the ignorant speeders that drive by at least twice the posted (25mph) speed limit at any given time. As for the alternate routes provided to MassDOT. Although everyone refers to it as Park street, in reality it is Route 62 (a state road) that runs through the center of town as is Route 28. Even though I feel route 62 to Haverhill would be able to handle the exclusion, my choice would be down route 62 east to route 28.
Fred Chalmers July 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
"The town police department is not for it either, and told me that in order for the trucks to even be able to make the turn at Ryers, either Ryers or the Batchelder will have to most likely give up some land to widen that intersection." Could that be why there were surveyors taking measurements there a week or two ago?
Mary B July 10, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Tom - The traffic you refer to is mostly due to the increased number of residents in town since 1974. My point is trucks are not new to Chestnut Street. Moyahan's has been there for years and the postal facility has also been on 28 for over a decade. Those would be the two main sources of trucks Sending trucks down Haverhill St to 62 is more dangerous considering the design of the intersection a very difficult turn and with two schools in the area the town is only asking for trouble. From your comment, spped is the problem not trucks If the speed is a problem, then why not petition the Selectmen to mandate extra Police and truly enforce the speed limit.


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