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Mass. City council argues over whether residential truck traffic is a “real life issue” worth erecting signs over 

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A City Council in Massachusetts has approved the installation of “No Truck” signs in a neighborhood after arguing over treating truckers kindly and the validity of residents’ concerns regarding truck traffic. 

Holyoke, Massachusetts City Council approved the “No Exit” and “No Trucks” signs for Michelle Lane this week in an attempt to stop tractor trailers from intentionally or accidentally using the neighborhood as a shortcut. Several Council Members opposed the installation of the signs, pointing out that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has deemed the signs “unenforceable.” Councilor At-large Jose Maldonado Velez says that the signs may set unreal expectations for residents, who would consider the posted signs legally enforceable, despite the ruling from MassDOT, reported Mass Live News.

“When these huge trucks go down these small roads, they can’t even handle them. But then they have to go through somewhere. They go through everybody’s yards as they have no choice because they’re stuck,” said Councilor Linda Vacon, adding that too many signs would be aggressive, but just a few might “get the attention” of the truck drivers who “mindlessly” focus on GPS directions. 

One Councilor suggested a “friendlier” approach to alerting the truckers, particularly those delivering furniture or other goods to citizens who live in the neighborhood, “This way, we don’t have to worry about the enforcement stuff we obviously can’t enforce,” they said. But they were soon shot down by frustrated homeowners. 

 “I would not like to have tractor-trailer trucks accidentally, or miss directed coming onto our streets, a cul-de-sac,”one member said.

“It’s not just annoying and frustrating. It’s a safety issue for the driver and for the neighborhood itself,” added another. 

Councilor At-large Israel Rivera stated that he was not in favor of making decisions solely for a “particular group of people,” and would rather serve all constituents. 

“There are some real-life issues we got to deal with, and they’re technically being avoided,” he said. 

Eventually, it was determined that the signs were not “earth shattering,” and that the council was overthinking the decision, so the signs were approved, despite concerns that the issue was overshadowing more pressing decisions.

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