City Council Puts Haverhill Truck Traffic Sign Request on Hold Pending Analysis

City Engineer John H. Pettis III. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A request by Broco Oil to install wayfinding signs at three separate locations was put on hold by the Haverhill City Council Tuesday pending further study by the city’s Engineering Department.

Broco Oil, which operates a fuel depot, sought permission to install signs to direct trucks to its Eighth Avenue location, starting along Primrose Street in front of the Department of Public Works, a second at the corner of Primrose and Eighth Avenue and a third at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Hale Street. Residents of the area, however, have already complained to the police department, saying there are too many trucks using those streets already. Haverhill City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright read the police report to the council.

“The Traffic and Safety Unit has received numerous complaints from residents of Eighth Avenue regarding the number of commercial trucks on their street. The residents are requesting a commercial truck exclusion, similar to Burke Street. The city Engineering Department has been notified of this request and a study needs to be completed. This matter should be tabled until the no-truck exclusion is decided,” she quoted.

Additionally, a response by City Engineer John H. Pettis III strongly urged against the sign placement, noting it would open the door for other businesses in the area to do the same. He also pointed out that since much of Eighth Avenue is residential, signs encouraging more commercial traffic should not be installed.

Responding to those reports, Guy Bresnahan, one of Broco Oil’s managers, said when Burke Street became a truck-exclusionary roadway, Eighth Avenue   became the default entryway to the depot. He told councilors it is his belief that few residents mind the commercial traffic.

“With regards to complaints, we have a singular complainant who’s a serial complainant. He’s been impeding the intersection at Hale and Eighth  so trucks can’t make the corner. So, we think we understand where the complaints are coming from,” he said.

Bresnahan added he has a business to operate and trucking is a key component of that.

Council President Timothy J. Jordan responded, that while he understood, based on the recommendations from engineering and police, he does not believe the Council can approve the signage when the body typically relies on the advice of knowledgeable department heads.

Fellow councilor Thomas J. Sullivan agreed. “It would be best for you to just let us table this matter, and we do need to wait until the no-truck exclusion issue is decided. So, it would probably be best just to table this.”

Councilors also made suggestions for other possible routes that could be used, avoiding the residential area altogether.

Ultimately, members voted 7-1 to table discussion until the commercial exclusion study is completed with Councilor Melinda E. Barrett opposed and Councilor Michael S. McGonagle absent.

Comments are closed.