Blanchard Road residents have ongoing concerns about traffic congestion, truck traffic and speed. They are currently seeking the following actions, based on a recent neighborhood meeting which I attended:
- Completion of traffic studies necessary to support a truck restriction application — in progress by the City of Cambridge.
- Application for a truck restriction (larger vehicles) — must be instituted by the City of Cambridge and state must review it; if alternative truck routes fall in Belmont, Belmont must also support it for the state to consider approving it.
- Re-designation of the route from a collector to a residential segment — Cambridge would request this; standards unclear; might help divert GPS-following truckers.
- Reduced speed limit (currently 30mph).
- Greater enforcement. Cambridge Police have agreed to post a speed alert trailer on the route and maintain an increased presence there, although the number of ticketable violators appears to be low (see below).
A truck ban that pushes trucks onto other Belmont streets is a non-starter and any restriction proposal would have to encompass likely Belmont alternatives. However, there may be large enough established trucking routes in Cambridge that a truck restriction on Blanchard Road could be possible. The best argument for restriction seems to me to be the unsafety for trucks of the narrow, curvy road, especially the rotary. The City of Cambridge, in collaboration with Belmont, has to drive this process.
Click here for a 24-hour weekday set of traffic statistics collected by the Cambridge Police Department. Because the 85th speed percentile is 32mph, it seems unlikely that the state would approve a speed limit reduction.