Trucks causing headaches for village residents

BEACON FALLS — Some residents have a message for truck drivers going to or from Pinesbridge Industrial Park: Don’t drive through Pond Spring Village.

Members of the Pond Spring Village Association Board of Directors came before the Board of Selectmen, which also acts as the Local Traffic Authority, this month to ask the town to install “No Thru Trucks” signs at the two entrances of the 55 years old and older community.

Pond Spring Village has exits on Pent Road and Lancaster Drive, which is where the Pinesbridge Industrial Park is located.

Bill Davis, president of the association’s board, said the community came together and put up a gate near Lancaster Drive and signs at both entrances to prevent people from cutting through.

“Traffic going through Lancaster was horrendous. Everything from trailer trucks to students going to the high school,” Davis said. “Sometimes the traffic gets so bad up here I am waiting to hear a traffic report saying that it’s back up and you better take September Lane.”

Neither the signs nor the gate completely alleviated the problem since GPS units still route drivers through Pond Spring Village, he said.

“Not too long ago there was a little problem up there. The driver got agitated. You say ‘where you going buddy, turn around.’ It got a little heated,” Davis said.

Davis said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration works with places to help change GPS routes and allows residents to call in violations. However, the street must be clearly marked as a no thru truck area by the town.

“I think this is obviously a significant problem and one the residents of Pond Spring Village don’t need to deal with any more than you do already,” First Selectman Christopher Bielik said.

The board scheduled an official meeting of the Local Traffic Authority for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Town Hall to make a decision on the placement of signs.

Bielik said the town would be happy to enforce the no thru trucks rule once it officially goes into effect.

“Obviously we can’t put somebody there all the time, but we can instruct our department to respond immediately if something like that comes,” Bielik said.

Pond Spring Village Association Board of Directors Vice President Gregg Wright said the problem isn’t just enforcement, but preventing the trucks from winding up there in the first place. He said there is very little room for trucks to turn around.

Wright said often, rather than turning around, the truck drivers will wait in front of the gate for a resident to open it.

Wright suggested the town place a sign on the Depot Street Bridge that informs truck drivers that there is no access to the industrial park to prevent them getting all the way there before discovering there is no place to turn around.

“Maybe if it’s obvious enough coming across the bridge they can use the Murtha Industrial Park to turn around and reroute,” Wright said.

Bielik said the town will look into putting a sign before the bridge because it is already difficult for trucks to turn around once they have crossed the bridge.

“It’s not going to solve every problem because people actually have to read the sign. But at least if we post it that gives us enforcement authority and the ability for us to levy fines,” Bielik said.