Public hearing held to address traffic and safety concerns

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Northborough

Northborough – Traffic concerns have been a hot topic among residents for months. A public hearing was held at the Jan. 25 Board of Selectmen meeting to discuss options to address those concerns. The town will add a website link that will be a venue for traffic related frequently asked questions.

The majority of concerns are focused on truck traffic generated from the Bartlett Street industrial facilities, like Amazon.

Town Administrator John Coderre said he found that more effective and efficient resident communication was needed.

“A lot of people just weren’t aware of all the work and information that has been compiled, and all the steps that have been taken and the progress we have made,” he said.

A new traffic safety page on the town website will enable residents to pose questions and appropriate town staff will reply. It will serve as a resource and increase transparency.

Resident John Wixted doesn’t think this will solve the underlying issues. He would like to work with the town to come up with reasonable solutions to keep residential neighborhoods residential.

“If people are asking the same questions over and over again, it is because the problem is not getting solved,” he said.

 

Traffic Safety Committee denied

Coderre did not recommend forming a new Traffic Safety Committee without the guidance and set priorities directed by the Master Plan Implementation Committee.  A new committee would require staff resources, which are limited while focused on all things COVID-19.

Residents felt differently and the idea of creating even a short-term advisory traffic safety committee was mentioned. Resident Mitch Cohen said this could help the Master Plan Implementation Committee stay focused on the bigger picture.

 

Other safety measures

The town, along with its legislative delegation, asked the state to reconsider a pedestrian activated flashing beacon at the Maple Street and Route 20 crosswalk.

Police Chief William Lyver continues to work on speeding enforcement. Multiple radar machines are rotated around town and requests for additional enforcement areas are welcomed.

The town’s engagement with the Bartlett Street area truck facilities is ongoing. All facilities agreed to install signs that direct truck traffic to appropriate routes. Progress has been made with driver training.

Potentially, an Amazon representative will attend a February Selectmen meeting. There are a lot of questions surrounding what their full operation will look like.

Residents are reminded that they can continue to contact the Board and town staff with issues of immediate concern.

 

 

 

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