Name change not recommended

WESTFIELD – The Traffic Commission declined to vote last night on a recommendation to change the name of Summit Lock Road to Medeiros Way.
The vote came following a discussion by the commission members and an offer from a C&S Wholesale Grocers official to work with the city to resolve the issue.
The issue is that some truck drivers, with destinations at businesses on Summit Lock Road, are ending up across the city on Summit Drive, a residential street near the summit of Provin Mountain in the Knollwood Drive neighborhood along Pontoosic Road.
City officials believe the problem is that truckers, relying on the global positioning systems, just enter the name “summit” and are then following directions to Summit Drive.
Initially the city considered changing the name of Summit Drive, but residents presented a petition to the City Council opposing that option because of the cost and effort to change all of the documentation, passports, driver licenses, bank and mortgage accounts, legal documents such as wills, medical records and other personal identification, associated with a street name change.
Last night, Attorney Jeanne Burns of the C&S compliance and governmental relations office, raised similar concerns.
“C&S has a express interest in working with the city to come to a resolution to this traffic issue,” Burns said. “Changing the (road) name will not immediately remedy the problem.”
“C&S would like to work on other measures, such as more signage, to reduce the traffic going to the other end of the city,” Burns said, adding that the miscues delay receipt of the products being brought in by truck, a fact that has a negative impact on C&S operations.
“We would like to see the name remain the same,” she said. “It does place a burden on C&S to change all of its corporate documentation, to notify all of the trucking companies.”
“We all have a common interest in resolving this problem,” Burns said.
Commissioner Thomas Liptak, the business representative on the board, said he has talked to several of the smaller business about the proposed name change and potential impact on business operations.
“Initially their response was ‘so what’ but after thinking, about it they were more concerned,” Liptak said.
City Engineer Mark Cressotti, also a commission member, said that the city have a vested interest in the issue because of the cost and effort associated with changing all of the city’s legal documents.
“There are a number of city documents that will need to be updates and this would be the second name change for that street, originally it was Buck Pond Road,”
Cressotti said that the documentation change would have to go back through two layers of legal and engineer records to annotate a new name.
“I have difficulty with changing the name because a lot of things are attached,” he said. “I don’t favor it, or oppose it, I think we should stay out of it.”
Police Chief John Camerota, the commission chairman, said that the name change will take time to eliminate the Summit Drive truck problem because of the time needed to update the GPS data.
Public Works Superintendent Jim Mulvenna, also a commission member, said that two signs were erected on both Knollwood and Robinson drives, the two access roads leading to Summit Drive, stating that motorists were entering a residential area and that commercial trucks are prohibited.
“There is a small notice at the bottom of the sign that tells the trucks ‘C&S is not located here’,” Mulvenna said.
Mulvenna made the motion to give a positive recommendation with the condition that the signs on Knollwood and Robinson drivers remain in place for a year or two.
Camerota called for a second. None was offered.
Liptak said he is concerned about the legal liability to the city.
“I think they’d come after us,” he said.
Mulvenna said this morning that there are no instructional or directional signs at the Massachusetts Turnpike Exchange #3 for truckers coming off the turnpike.
“I think that’s what (Burns) was suggesting, a sign with an arrow pushing trucks north to Summit Lock right at the turnpike exit,” he said.
City Council President Christopher Keefe, in whose ward Summit Lock Road is located, said the council had requested a recommendation from the Traffic Commission.
“We were hoping to get feedback, but the fact that they have no recommendation doesn’t change the fundamental question of trucks going into a little residential street,” Keefe said. “I expect that the ward councilor will push this issue. We still have to schedule a public hearing.”

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