05/13/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Boston, MA – A 2006 ban on trucks carrying hazardous materials through the downtown portion of Boston has been lifted, as reported by the Boston Globe. Starting Monday, May 17, 2010, trucks will once again be allowed to cruise through city streets at all hours.
The four-year ban was lifted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after it warned the city in November that it had six months to finish a safety analysis of the restrictions. The Administration ruled the restrictions were illegal after the city failed to complete an analysis on the ban’s impact on public safety.
Trucking industry officials claim the decision to lift the ban will not put the public at risk. Officials backed up their claims by pointing out that the ban was lifted because the city failed to prove its merit.
For the past four years, trucks transporting hazardous materials have been required to drive around the city, taking the Charlestown Bridge, Cross Street and the Greenway to Interstate 93. By Monday, as many as 200 trucks a day will be allowed to travel down Commercial Street in the North End.
North End residents and city officials are outraged. Council Salvatore LaMattina, who represents the North End told reporters, “I am very disappointed…There’s a lot of people on Commercial Street, and there’s a lot of kids and parks and pools and playgrounds in that area.”
City officials are worried that trucks will be prompted to speed down Commercial Street, as they will face fewer traffic signals than the previous route the trucks were required to drive.
Vice President of the American Trucking Association, Richard Moskowitz, stated the decision will actually cut down risks. He explained, “By taking the most direct route, you’re reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled and reducing the likelihood a truck will be involved in an accident.”
The city reported that they will continue their probe into the safety risks to the community, hoping that a late justification of the restrictions will be recognized by the federal government.
Janet Gilardi, 65, a lifelong resident of Boston’s North End, expressed her anger with the ruling by telling reporters, “No one cares for the benefit of our health here.”
Address: Boston, Massachusetts