Feds Rule Against City on Hazardous Truck Routing

The US Dept of Transportation ruled in favor of trucking associations that objected to the City of Boston’s re-routing of trucks that were previously going through the North End/Waterfront streets.

First, the City re-routed the trucks from Commercial Street to the shorter, less residential route on Cross Street. Many residents have continued to argue the route should be moved again to Congress Street, avoiding the North End completely.

Second, the city changed the overall permits for using Boston roads. Trucks delivering oil or fuel within the city can deliver anytime. But they can only pass through the city between 6pm and 8am.

The result of the permit change has been a drastic reduction in the number of hazardous trucks coming through Boston. In addition to saying they were not consulted, the Feds argue the re-routing shifts the burden to other communities and causes longer and more expensive routes for the truckers. (See map and article on

The next step is for the City to justify its ban and route changes to the Federal agency or risk allowing the HazMat trucks to return to city streets, including the North End’s Commercial Street.