Officials are looking for a way to make Interstate 93 a little bit safer. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently made a proposal to keep hazardous materials off of Boston’s waterfront and North End routes to I-93, according to The Boston Globe. Commercial vehicles with dangerous cargo can easily cause fatal accidents if not properly regulated, like in the Somerville car accident we recently told you about on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog.
Our Boston injury attorneys understand that this proposal makes sense as it could potentially help to prevent fatal accidents on the interstate, but does it make sense to reroute these hazardous trucks through our neighborhoods? Everyone knows that both Routes 93 and 128 frequently experience heavy congestion. With more and more trucks on our roadways, the dangers are increasing. It’s not uncommon for motorists to hop off the interstate to continue their journey through nearby neighborhoods, but what happens when trucks are taking these alternative routes?
State Senator Katherine Clark is working to find a solution for this matter. She’s working with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to help relieve the stress of overcrowded highways while maintaining neighborhood roadways. She’s looking to help reroute traffic through areas that are able to handle the traffic and the potential dangers that may come along with it.
Transportation department officials already have taken notice to the congestion problems at the Routes 128 and 93 interchanges. As a matter of fact, through recent investigation, that area was named as the most dangerous area for trucking accidents in Massachusetts, as hundreds of trucks navigate through these roadways carrying dangerous materials.
The Battelle Memorial Institute recently conducted a study and concluded that Cambridge and Boston are the only two cities in the area that have dedicated Hazardous Materials Teams. Many communities are dependent on the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Regional Hazardous Materials Teams. The problem with this is that while the Boston team is able to respond to a call with 15 minutes on average, a regional team takes much longer. Smaller, residential fire units are not properly staffed to guarantee an efficient response time to a roadway disaster. Boston and Cambridge on the other hand have sufficient staff. That’s why traffic has been proposed to be rerouted through areas that are better equipped to take on the heavy traffic and to handle the potential dangers from certain trucks.
The state senator has been working alongside legislators in a number of communities in an attempt to sway transportation department officials to adopt a new route that can help relieve overburdened highways and maintain all safety standards.
Our Boston roadways can be extremely dangerous at times. Officials have enacted a number of road laws to help reduce the risks we often face while traveling along our congested interstates and highways. While some conditions may seem completely unavoidable, officials will continue to search for ways to eliminate these dangers, even if it means completely rerouting traffic.