By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Residents in the Bartlett Street area should notice reduced truck traffic within a few weeks. Northborough Director of Public Works Scott Charpentier and Town Administrator John Coderre shared a comprehensive list of steps, which have been taken or are in progress, to address resident traffic concerns at the Dec. 21 Board of Selectmen meeting. This includes signage at the trucking facilities, a traffic study and a parking ban on Bartlett Street.
Measures implemented or to come
Traffic barriers were installed on Bartlett Street in an area where tractor trailers parked overnight.
Advance warning signs have been installed at the intersections of Bartlett and Maple Streets and Ridge Road and Lyman Street to notify trucks of an upcoming truck exclusion on part of Maple and Collins Streets.
Another advance truck exclusion warning sign will be installed in the vicinity of Route 20 Eastbound and Maple Street to prevent trucks from turning down Maple Street, which has a truck exclusion on that end.
The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) scheduled a new traffic count study for the spring for Ridge Road and the portion of Maple Street that does not already have a truck exclusion. Charpentier said that waiting until the truck facilities are fully operational will capture an accurate depiction of what traffic is like.
The town is waiting on a determination from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to reconsider the denial of installation of a pedestrian activated signal at the crosswalk at Route 20 and Maple Street. The crosswalk is in close proximity to an elementary school, athletic fields, a restaurant and other businesses.
Parking mandates on Bartlett Street
The Board unanimously voted in favor of prohibiting parking on Bartlett Street from Route 20 to the town line after much discussion, including insights from Charpentier and Police Chief William Lyver.
“It’s really not appropriate to park on Bartlett Street from the school (Algonquin Regional High School) or Hemlock to Route 20,” said Charpentier. “There is not adequate shoulder width for safe parking. When you go past the school and you start to broaden out in width you are approaching the industrial zone and that is where we don’t want tractor trailers parking.”
Coderre said this would eliminate the parking issue and give the police department the tools to enforce it. It would also be in effect before other facilities open on Bartlett Street.
Discussions and contact have been made with all the facilities on Bartlett Street. Coderre said that without hesitation, they want to work with the town and reduce neighborhood concerns and are committed to being good neighbors. Permanent signage is or will be installed to direct trucks out of the facilities along the preferred route of Cedar Hill and Hayes Memorial.
New Amazon facilities
In a letter to Coderre dated Dec. 18, Amazon Site Leader Asad Raja said flyers to drivers departing the site were distributed with detailed instructions.
“For a long-term solution, we are working to introduce technology that will facilitate drivers to select the preferred routes through the local community,” Raja stated.
Board member Julianne Hirsh asked for a public presentation with the Amazon representative to address all community questions and to give an overview of what residents can expect as the facilities fully open. Coderre said he could make the request and would see if they are willing to come in for further dialogue.
Residents are asked to take a photo of any truck on a road where it isn’t allowed, including its plate or marker number so the police department can follow up with the appropriate facility.