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What It’s Like Having UPS as Your Neighbor

A Chelmsford resident near UPS on Brick Kiln Road shares what it’s like to live down the road from UPS

I have been a resident of Chelmsford for more than 40 years. My residence is currently in East Chelmsford about a mile from the UPS hub on Brick Kiln Rd. When UPS was built, there were promises made about the direction of truck travel in and out of their location.

Promises that can’t be kept

UPS has pretty much kept to those promises for the trucks that they own: the brown delivery ones and the tractor trailers. Unfortunately, they also use hundreds of independent tractor trailers who don’t follow the rules. These trucks use GPS systems that send them along all of the streets and back roads in East Chelmsford. My street happens to be one that is not lined, which means it is barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass, and it was never meant to be used by tractor trailer trucks. Most of the big trucks come down my street from Gorham St. toward Brick Kiln Rd., which means they come over a small hill at speeds over 35 miles per hour. Our driveways are close to the bottom of this hill, which means if we are unlucky enough to be backing out when one of these trucks is coming down the hill there could be a horrible crash. There is no way a tractor trailer can stop in time to avoid this.

We have fought tooth and nail with UPS and the town to stop this misuse of our road. We finally got “no truck” signs at both ends of our road, but there is really no enforcement. We still see big trucks at least a couple of times a week. This is down from 10 a day during holiday busy times for UPS, but it is still a threat to the people who drive and walk on this road.

More problems and close calls

Last winter, a tractor trailer truck driver attempted to back up and make a turn around a small island at the intersection of Brick Kiln and Sprague. There is a telephone pole on the side of this island — which the truck completely wrecked. The entire neighborhood lost electricity and other services for the rest of that day (Sunday). The trucker drove off.

In another fun event, a tractor trailer tried to turn around by traveling around the Sheriff’s office building which is behind many of our homes. See the picture above that captured the moment! He got completely stuck at a narrow curve in the driveway and had to abandon the truck for almost a whole day. We got to listen to the beeping as he attempted to extract the truck repeatedly for almost an hour.

The problems are not just trucks either. Recently, UPS got approval from the planning board to expand their truck parking area to include land that was full of trees. They quickly removed all vegetation and paved the area. They put up fences and small deciduous trees which do nothing to cover the area in winter. If you drive by this parking lot today, you will see the fences lined with trash and large pieces of plastic wrapping film used in shipping. UPS takes no pride in their property and has ruined the views of property owners across the street with this eyesore.

Also, now that the trees are gone, the banging noises of tractor trailers hooking, and unhooking is louder than ever. At night we must use white noise generators so that we can sleep. In summer, we cannot open our windows at night due to this noise.

It’s been nothing but trouble since UPS moved in. Huge trucking/warehouse/distribution centers do not belong in Chelmsford neighborhoods! We need to do everything in our power to STOP the Riverneck Road Project, or history will repeat itself.