Halifax Selectmen voted Tuesday night to move forward with a Heavy Commercial Vehicle Exclusion proposa–which now needs the ‘okay’ from Bridgewater and East Bridgewater before being sent to the state.
Residents attended the public hearing to explain the necessity of pursuing the exclusion zoning for two residential roads, Walnut Street and Pine Street, citing safety concerns. According to Selectmen, large commercial trucks have been traveling on Walnut Street in opposite traffic lanes due to road disrepair.
Halifax Town Administrator Charlie Seelig explained these heavy vehicles were studied as driving fifteen miles over the speed limit, “The vast majority of vehicles that are driving on Walnut Street are driving significantly above the speed limit of 30 for a thickly settled area.”
About 15% of traffic on Walnut Street and Pine Street in Halifax come from heavy vehicles.
A Halifax resident who lives on Route 105, one of the proposed alternate roads, stated an influx of trucks heavier than 5 tons will create dangerous conditions for pedestrians, “I can’t imagine why you Selectmen would want to dump the traffic on 105 when there’s enough traffic as it is; that’s designated as a bike route.”
However, one Walnut Street resident argued his road is in serious disrepair and not wide enough, “The big concern is loss of lives or other problems that are going to occur down there that may not have occurred yet, but will. And I think the 106, 105 intersection is going to grow in time anyways.”
Bridgewater must now evaluate East Street which extends from Walnut Street in Halifax and a small section of Route 105 must be considered by East Bridgewater. But the ultimate decision is the hands of the Mass Department of Transportation. Construction vehicles, school buses, and vehicles under 5 tons will not be excluded.