NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Though he was hoping for a “common sense solution” from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Town Engineer Fred Litchfield told that Board of Selectmen last night that at least Collins Road would meet the criteria for a truck exclusion.
Originally, the town had sought an exclusion for Ridge Road, Collins Road, Maple Street and Brigham Street. Counters installed on each road, however, determined that only Collins Road dealt with traffic of at least five percent commercial vehicles weighing 2.5 tons or more—the state’s criteria for an exclusion.
The exclusion will bar these commercial vehicles from driving on Collins Road. Signs will be placed on both ends of the road informing drivers of the restriction. In addition, warning signs will be posted on the ends of surrounding roads to give truck drivers plenty of warning. Police will be tasked with enforcing this restriction.
“The goal was to get these tractor-trailers off the streets,” Litchfield said.
Selectman Aaron Hutchins voiced the concerns of a resident he had spoken to earlier, who wondered if non-commercial heavy pickup trucks might also fall under the restriction, as some might weigh 2.5 tons.
Litchfield dismissed the notion.
“We’re not targeting pickup trucks,” he said, adding that the exclusion aims at vehicles with at least six wheels and dual axels.
Police Lieutenant William Lyver, Jr. said that such vehicles as landscape trucks and delivery trucks will be allowed to drive on Collins Road, as long as it is their destination, and not simply part of their route. He also said that policemen typically allow for a warning period of a few weeks when such restrictions go into effect so people can get used to them.
Town Administrator John Coderre urged the Board to approve the measure and inform the MassDOT.
“We need to get Collins [Road] in place, because that’s only going to help,” Coderre said. In a year or so, he added, “we’ll step back and continue to review it.”