In August, I posted an update here about proposed hazardous materials truck route changes that could negatively impact the cities of Cambridge and Somerville. The City of Boston is seeking an officially recognized ban of all Non-Radioactive Hazardous Materials (NRHM) from the streets of downtown. While this move is designed to enhance the safety of those who live and work in downtown Boston, I am concerned that truck drivers will find it convenient or necessary to use some of the busiest streets in Cambridge as an alternative route. As it stands, the City of Cambridge would not have the legal authority to prohibit trucks carrying NRHM from its streets without going through the same federal process as Boston has.
In response to this, I submitted a policy order to the City Council requesting the city manager to examine the possible impacts of the proposed route changes, to confer with his staff in order to structure a ban similar to Boston’s, and for the City to go on record in opposition to changes in routing that would result in more NRHM traveling through Cambridge.
To read the City of Cambridge’s official response, please see the comment below that was submitted by City Manager Bob Healy: