EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 25, 2014

More truck traffic drives concerns about safety

HAVERHILL — First a resident of 16th Avenue complained to City Councilor Melinda Barrett about an increase in commercial truck traffic as well as speeding on his street, which connects Main Street near the Walnut Square School to Primrose Street.

Then a resident of neighboring 18th Avenue dropped by Barrett's downtown specialty foods shop yesterday to say his street has the same problem. Then a resident of 14th Avenue sent her an email complaining about truck traffic and speeding. A Downing Avenue resident also complained about the same things.

"A resident is concerned that it is being used as a cut through," Barrett said at last night's City Council meeting, adding there also has been a considerable increase in speeding on 16th Avenue according to what she was told.

Residents in that area say various types of vehicles are using their streets, including dump trucks, box trucks, waste management vehicles, flatbeds, trailers, civilians towing trailers, DPW vehicles, construction vehicles and concrete pouring trucks, and that the traffic occurs at all hours of the day, including on weekends.

They say the increase in truck traffic poses a danger to pedestrians, makes it more dangerous to back out of their driveways and more dangerous when passing by these large vehicles.

Barrett told the council that the complaints she's recently received from residents of the upper Avenues may warrant a traffic count or the assignment of a police officer to that area to monitor the situation.

Downing Avenue resident Natalie White contacted The Eagle-Tribune yesterday to say that over the last six months she's seen a big increase in commercial 18-wheel trucks as well as city dump trucks using Downing Avenue as a shortcut between Main Street and Primrose Street.

"We have never had this much truck traffic in all the years I have lived here," White said. "There are quite a few children on this street, plus children from Walnut Square School who use this to reach their homes on Primrose Street and other Avenues."

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