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Mahoney and Corcoran Present Plan To Reroute Trucks to the Mass Pike

By Douglas E. Schoen

The Cambridge city manager and a local state Representative announced yesterday that the city will file a petition to ban trucks from three streets near Central Square.

At a press conference yesterday. City Manager John H. Corcoran and state Rep. Thomas Mahoney (D-Cambridge) said they will ask the State Department of Public Works (DPW) to re-route all trucks that do not have their origin or destination in Cambridge on to the Massachusetts Turnpike during evenings and weekends. Trucks presently use Prospect St., River St., and Western Ave. as through streets on their routes.

The ban on trucks would not extend to those carrying dangerous cargo, such as oil or gas. These types of trucks are presently banned from the Mass Pike in the central Boston area.

Yesterday's announcement came as a result of a meeting between the Cambridge legislative delegation: Alan Altshuler, secretary of Transportation: and representatives of Humans Against Loud Trucks (HALT), a local citizens group.

At the meeting, Mahoney and the two representatives from HALT, David Clem and Richard Thoreson, presented their proposal to Altshuler. According to Mahoney, Altshuler endorsed the plan but said the DPW would have to make the final decision.

Altshuler was out of town yesterday and unavailable for comment.

Henry Lundquist, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works, said yesterday that while he would have to consider the proposal, he did not think the Mass Pike was an adequate alternative route to Prospect St., River St., and Western Ave.

"State law requires that cities seeking relief from truck traffic suggest an equally accessible route, and in this case sending trucks to the Mass Pike would mean that many truck drivers would have to go way out of their way." Lundquist said.

Two weeks ago HALT dramatized their opposition to the trucks by staging a rally on Prospect St. During the rally, a number of local residents crowded the streets and briefly blocked a number of trucks' progress.

HALT's rally culminated over two years of organizing. Their demonstration rally was attended by political-candidates as well as local elected officials.

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