Select Board Hears A Lot About Truck Traffic

(Above) Aerial view of the Lowland Industrial Park. Woodland St. School complex at lower left.
The Select Board and Town Administrator are ready to hear from citizens.

Approximately 120 people Zoomed in or dialed in to the Select Board’s Public Forum regarding Lowland Industrial Park traffic.  The meeting convened precisely at 7:00 pm, Tuesday August 25th, with Select Board Chair John Cronin outlining the format and ground rules for the session.  He asked that all participants be civil and respectful and that the Board was, “here to hear,” and that notes would be taken during the meeting to capture citizen input.

Cronin reminded participants that several items are located on a special webpage that provide background information on this topic -> https://www.townofholliston.us/home/news/lowland-industrial-park-traffic-public-forum-tuesday-august-25

Members of the Planning Board, the Town Planner, Fire Chief Cassidy, Police Chief Stone were among the many people tuned in to the discussion.

State Representative Carolyn Dykema

Mr. Cronin introduced State Representative Carolyn Dykema and invited her to share some thoughts.  She said that she was pleased to have been invited and that she, herself has noticed the increase in truck traffic in town.  Dykema introduced Mr. Joe Frawley with MassDOT who would listening along with Rep. Dykema to capture information and ideas from the assembled group.

Select Board Vice-chair Tina Hein reminded citizens that there is a Traffic Advisory Committee webpage on the Town website where citizens can submit traffic-related requests / inquiries.  Below is the mission of the Committee.  Hein also mentioned that the Holliston Public Schools embrace the principle of active transportation to school using public thoroughfares and the Rail Trail.  Holliston participates in the State-sponsored Safe Routes to School program that has already yielded some improvements to pedestrian safety near the Woodland St. school complex.

After these opening comments, the public was invited to share their points of view on the topic of traffic.  Each of the participants who commented were civil in tone and generally respectful of time so that many could speak.  One citizen shared graphs and pictures to make her point – a science guy I once knew would say, “In God we Trust; all others bring data” – and she did.

We heard from residents and citizens from neighboring towns.  Some residents were long-time residents, others recent transplants. Most of the Hollistonians lived on Bullard, Fiske, Regal, Norland, Woodland, Lowland, and Central Streets.  A Sherborn resident asked about how Holliston plans to deal with the expanding Adessa complex in Framingham.  A Medway resident was concerned about the traffic impact of the proposed warehouse at 555 Hopping Brook Road.  Clearly increasing truck traffic is a regional issue.

Residents spoke about: (some common themes)

  • Increased volume of truck traffic
  • Weight of the trucks
  • Speed
  • Traffic starts early and stops late – 6 days a week.
  • Noise – Jake Brakes are loud; Diesel engines roar
  • Increased volume of students on roads rather than riding school busses
  • More pedestrians out for a break from quarantine
  • Streets are narrow and curvy with no sidewalks

Several residents expressed frustration that this problem has persisted so long – 3 generations in one Woodland St household.  Others shared that they moved to Holliston for its charm and they just want ‘to enjoy our property.”

An interesting point was made, Lowland Industrial Park is the only industrial park in town with multiple points of access making enforcement that much more challenging.

The Town Administrator has received written input from several neighborhoods and that information will added to that collected last night.  A goal seemed to emerge for the next steps; effective enforcement of manageable traffic signage that allows businesses in the industrial zone to prosper.

The Select Board is committed to improving the safety and traffic flow that has been a long-standing issue for Hollistonians

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Chris Cain

4 Comments

  1. Melissa Ford on August 27, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Meeting informational. Suggest signage- large!!
    At woodland / Washington , central/Bullard,
    Woodland/Norland that prohibit trucks exceeding
    A certain weight from travelling on these roads.

    Large sign at lowland/Jeffrey directing trucks out to Rte 16.

    Enforce law for NE Recycling that gates may not
    Open until 7:00 am and close at 5:00 pm so the
    Business can co-exist with neighbors.

    I have resided in Holliston for 65 Years- primarily on Washington Street. Traffic at our corner -Prospect and Washington – has increased significantly since moving into this house in 1997.
    Truck traffic is constant and loud in both directions!

    Huge trailer trucks, eversource trucks and dump trucks are using Prospect street as a cut through to Highland street to avoid lights . Again, signage prohibiting trucks over a certain weight from using Prospect street as a cut through should be posted. An enforced speed limit sign or speed bumps would help a great deal too.Obviously deliveries would be acceptable.

    The two traffic lights in the center of town cause unnecessary traffic back ups. They are not timed
    Or synced. Exchange street light should be triggered on an As needed basis only.

    Lights could be blinking only from midnight to 6:00 am.

    That’s my commentary on traffic – please, please put up signs and begin enforcing them. It works.
    Mudville put up many new stop signs and it has slowed traffic down as police presence was consistent in the beginning!

    Thank you for listening,



  2. mike schwab on August 27, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Déjà vu; Truck Traffic, Resident Safety, town of Holliston, MA.

    See the Holliston Site Assignment Hearing-forum 2004, for the Holliston Transfer Station tucked away at 115 Washington Street. (now run by Covanta, formerly owned by Casella). If Covanta ramps up the daily tonnage Transfer amounts to their Holliston approved maximum tonnage, we are all in for a big surprise of many, many more LARGE trucks.

    Every resident needs to submit formal requests to the appropriate town boards. Do it electronically and verify it is officially recorded.
    Request that Holliston by-laws be enforced.
    Request action be taken by each board.
    Holliston needs positive changes to benefit our towns quality and our residents.

    The time is now!
    Thank you, resident since 1991.



  3. Matthew S. Mnich, CT(ASCP) on August 28, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    We live in sleepy towns. We come here for tranquility, schools, lakes, away from the hustle and bustle and for quality of life. I don’t think anyone wants to stand in the way of progress and business expansion but it needs to be done in a responsible way to preserve our quality of life. Harmonious is a word I often hear these days regarding new large commercial operations that affect local residents. The Lowland Industrial Park traffic has been a hardship on local neighbors along with sound, and air pollution. From what I heard on the call the other day there are about 100 tractor trailer trips/day. It’s clear that’s disruptive in many ways. There is another project at 555 Hopping Brook in Holliston that’s on a much grander scale. Over 800,000 square feet of warehouse space is planned for construction. Other warehouses are also planned for a total of over 3 million square feet. The MA DOT estimates nearly 7,500 tractor trailer trips/day. Imagine what that will be like. I suggest everyone attend the next board meeting on September 17th regarding this project to voice your opinions. Just to clarify, this board meeting is about approval for a variance on three issues but the local towns have only recently heard about this gorilla warehouse project(s) and haven’t largely been notified to weigh in on it. We need to preserve our way of life, and it’s hard to imagine how this could possibly be considered a harmonious relationship between business and residents. BTW I live in Medway but these projects affect all of us in neighboring towns.



  4. Jan klein on August 31, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Please make our town planner, Karen Sherman, aware of your opposition to the Hopping Brook warehouse project. The increase in traffic
    and the noise and air pollution to Holliston is just unacceptable. Additionally, per the town Principal Assessor the amount of tax revenue from this warehouse is very small, only $150,00.
    Contact town planner at: shermank@holliston.k12.ma.us



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