Work on solutions to truck issues on two back roads between Route 9 & Main Street seems to be stalled. Meanwhile, at least one homeowner continues to feel the impact of inaction.
This morning, a truck driver trying to turn right from Flagg Road onto Deerfoot ended up in a homeowner’s front yard. It was an all too familiar sight. And one that the homeowner asked the Town to do something about last fall.
Homeowners on nearby Parkerville Road also asked the Town to help with their truck complaints. That request, rooted in noise complaints, has been looked into. But a recommendation made by one board more than a month ago has yet to be publicly followed up on.
On November 3rd, resident Thomas Joyce of 54 Deerfoot Road told the Board of Selectmen that there had been several incidents with trucks ending up in his yard and damaging trees. He asked the Town to look into the cause of the issue.
Joyce theorized the trucks were trying to get to Ken’s Foods somehow miss it, then navigation redirects them to take Flagg to Deerfoot to get back there. Public Works Director Galligan believed that a traffic study would help find answers.
Galligan was asking selectmen for approval of two traffic studies, one for Parkerville Road and one for Deerfoot. The project was initiated by a petition by Parkerville Road residents.
The Public Works Superintendent told selectmen that the issue on Parkerville was based on noise complaints. On that road, garbage trucks were believed to be the culprits. The road has speed bumps which apparently aggravate the noise issue.
She said that residents were requesting a truck exclusion. She believed a traffic study was an important first step. Selectmen approved the request.
The study findings were submitted to Public Works in early January and discussed at a February 13th meeting of the Public Works Planning Board.
According to Southborough Wicked Local, the PWPB agreed to recommend a prohibiting heavy commercial vehicles from using Parkerville Road as a cut-through between Route 30 & Route 9. They did not support any similar actions for Deerfoot Road.
Both reports had come back with findings that exclusions were unwarranted under Mass DOT’s safety guidelines. Those guidelines apparently look for three criteria:
- % of vehicles classified as heavy commercial vehicles (MassDOT generally looks at 5-8%, the study found less than 3% on each road)
- pavement structure/condition (both roads were considered adequate)
- hours of heavy vehicle operation (with studies identifying most trips between 6:00 am – 6:30 pm, no nighttime exclusion was warranted)
Reports relayed that not a single tractor trailer was observed on either road. (If that seems odd, it may be because both reports studied a single “typical” weekday. Parkerville on Thursday 11/16/16 and Deerfoot on Wednesday 11/22/16).
The consultant’s Parkerville Road report summarized that noise issues didn’t warrant a nighttime exclusion in part because:
there are only a few residential homes on the roadway, therefore, an overnight exclusion would not currently be warranted or beneficial.
Despite the findings, the PWPB voted 3-0 to support pursuing the Parkerville Road exclusion. SWL reports that the decision was based on complaints of a resident about loud trucks waking him at night.
The recommendation calls for the Board of Selectmen make the Parkerville Road exclusion request of the Department of Transportation.
But the item has yet to appear on selectmen’s agendas, including their meeting scheduled for tonight. And as of this afternoon, Public Works Director Karen Galligan couldn’t say when it would be.
No reference is made in the Deerfoot Road report to the intersection issues at Flagg Road.
This morning, another tractor trailer driver attempted the impossible turn. Trying to turn right from Flagg Road onto Deerfoot, the driver ended up in the front yard across the street again.
I followed up with Police Chief Paulhus to find out if he had information on how many incidents there have been with trucks at that intersection. He responded that his computer pulled up two recent incidents, three in 2016, and another in 2015.
This wouldn’t include any incidents that weren’t called in.
Photos below of the latest accident were sent in by two readers. One reader pointed out that the mishap occurred this morning while area kids were walking to Trottier and Neary schools.