August 19th, 2012
The new daytime regulation stops trucks full of gas, oil, and other hazardous materials from cutting through the North End and other Boston neighborhoods to get to Interstate 93 and other points south of the city. Instead, the rigs will have to make a wide loop around Boston along Route 128/Interstate 95, cutting through a swath of suburban communities, from Woburn to Lexington to Milton.
Sara Lavoie, a Transportation Department spokeswoman, said the decision came after months of public hearings on the issue, and the route change was announced in paid legal notices posted in The Boston Globe and Boston Herald and registered with federal authorities. Lavoie said she was interviewed about the new routes on a radio show for truckers. “I would have thought people would have thought we did not make it quickly enough,” Lavoie said of the move.
But Jack Troast, executive director of the 128 Corporate Alliance, said the speed with which the Transportation Department put the new policy into place took him by surprise, even though he was aware that there had been state hearings on the issue. Troast said he had hoped to see further study on the regional impacts, from safety to the potential for affecting local gas and oil prices. “To be perfectly honest, I expected this to be a longer conversation,” he said.