State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, who both represent the North End/Waterfront community, have taken the lead in advocating that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation uphold the City of Boston’s proposal that vehicles carrying hazardous materials through city streets are potentially dangerous and should be banned.
Several neighborhood meetings have been held with the community calling for re-routing hazmat cargo vehicles away from neighborhood streets.
“Residents have told city and government officials that these vehicles pose a public safety problem in their neighborhood,” Senator Petruccelli told the Review.
“These hazmat vehicles pass through community streets where people live, there are playgrounds, parks, swimming pools, baseball fields and a United States Coast Guard Base and residents feel they pose a potential dangerous situation,” the Senator said.
The Boston Delegation in the State Legislature, of which both elected officials are members, signed a letter urging MassDOT to uphold the findings of the city’s study to ban hazmat vehicles from city streets.
Also supporting Mayor Thomas Menino in attempting to remove these vehicles from city streets are Senator John Kerry and Congressman Michael Capuano.
“The Boston Delegation is one of the most diverse groups of legislators in the State,” Representative Aaron Michlewitz said. “When they speak with one voice it sends a powerful message.”
“Public safety is of crucial importance and the city’s hazmat study clearly shows it is highly dangerous for these vehicles to be traveling on narrow city streets,” Michlewitz said.
“Everyday, especially at neighborhood meetings residents ask me when will a final decision on these hazmat vehicle routes be changed,” Michlewitz told the Review. “Hopefully I can give them an answer very shortly,” he added.
District One Boston City Council Sal LaMattina has been on top of this issue right from the start working with the Mayor’s Office to come up with a plan.
“There is positively no question that these cargo vehicles are a potential danger to the North End/Waterfront community and other parts of the City,” LaMattina said. “The sooner, the better, these vehicles should be re-routed,” he added.