Let trucks on Main Street
The last iteration of the already prolonged and fully unnecessary plea for trucks to avoid North Main Street in favor of a narrower, mostly residential street replete with corners not designed for this type of traffic caused me to give up my silence and create this note.
Mayor Thom Lauzon’s recent suggestion to put this matter on the ballot and let the voters of Barre City decide this issue, after the Transportation Advisory Committee clearly wrote a comprehensive report and voted in a resounding way to recommend that truck traffic be returned to North Main Street and not to be detoured via Summer Street, is fine, but it made me realize that the voters should at least be warned that this detour is, more than likely, illegal and so this vote would merely be window dressing and not binding.
You see, North Main Street is considered to be not just a street but part of a highway system. This is not all; the reconstruction project that created our new downtown renaissance on North Main Street was funded, in no small part, by highway funds. Trucking companies are the biggest financial supporter of highway funds through a variety of taxes and fees. Asking trucks to not use the very road that they (at least indirectly) just paid for is downright un-neighborly and probably illegal.
Please ask your Barre City Council member to get the trucks back onto North Main Street as soon as possible. We need to be true to our heritage as a working-class community with trucks carrying many of the products that continue to support this city; honest with those on Summer Street who were told that this inconvenience of increased traffic would merely be a temporary one for the duration of the construction; realize that real damage will be done to Summer Street from this heavy traffic if it is allowed to continue there; and finally we need to be aware of the safety concerns of those who live and work on Summer Street. The threat to those using Summer Street from the very real potential of physical harm from this rerouting of traffic is infinitely more significant than any real or imagined inconvenience to those merchants on North Main Street (many of them live in Barre Town and do not have to deal with this 24/7). Let North Main Street be used for the tasks for which it was just refurbished.
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