We’re not sure there’s any foolproof solution for limiting the number of semi-tractor trailer trucks that wind up in the neighborhood west of Maple Avenue between Southview and Fairview avenues in Brookfield, but the issue could definitely use a bit of traffic engineering.
It’s not a problem that was created by any of the existing businesses, although the semis that rumble down the narrow streets of that area have either gotten lost trying to find Sweetener Supply’s shipping/receiving dock or are making deliveries to Ideal Heating, which only can be accessed from Southview Avenue.
At some point in the very distant past, probably because of the rail line and because it was thinly populated – a fair number of homes on those 3800 blocks were built after World War II – the wedge of land between Southview Avenue and the railroad right-of-way was used for industrial purposes. That it sits directly across a very narrow street from a residential district apparently wasn’t considered an issue.
But it has created a conflict. The semis – lost or not – need a clearly designated, quick way to get out of there. And that route is not clearly marked.
Once the trucks get onto Southview Avenue, which is one-way eastbound, the drivers hunt for a street that doesn’t have a sign restricting weights. The first street east of Kemman Avenue without such a sign is Madison Avenue, a 22-foot-wide two-way street that is not in any way suitable for semis.
Although there’s not a “no trucks” sign for Maple Avenue at Southview, the village has clearly intended for that collector route to be a “no trucks” route. There are red-slash truck signs up and down that street from 47th Street to 31st Street in both directions – just not at Southview. That’s confusing.
A new street sign at Maple and Southview makes it virtually impossible for trucks to make the hook turn on to Maple Avenue allowing them to go over the tracks, so the only turn that makes sense is a left turn onto Maple Avenue.
But then, where? The first street that makes the most sense is Fairview Avenue, which will get you back to Kemman, a designated truck route. But there’s a red-slash “no truck” sign for westbound Fairview and a weight-restriction sign at Grant Avenue.
There’s no truck restriction posted at Lincoln Avenue, which would send trucks past S.E. Gross School into a not very semi-friendly junction where Lincoln intersects with Broadway and Madison.
If truckers head farther north on Maple Avenue, semis have to navigate the Eight Corners circle before being confronted with, you guessed it, a red-slash “no trucks” sign.
Simply put, the village needs to account for these trucks and give them a clear way out. Even if, somehow, every Sweetener Supply delivery truck made its way to Shawmut Avenue, there are still the Ideal Heating delivery trucks.
Even if a solution isn’t perfect, it could at least make sense. As it stands now, it’s a semi driver’s guessing game.