- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—HAVERHILL — Parents in this Bradford neighborhood said large trucks are threatening the safety of their children and causing disruptive noise.

Several South Kimball Street residents will appear before the City Council Tuesday night to discuss their concerns.

The neighbors will attend the meeting after bringing the issue to Councilor Robert Scatamacchia.

“My understanding is that there are a lot of big trucks traveling up and down the street at 5 in the morning and they’ve become kind of a nuisance for residents,” Scatamacchia said Monday.

Joseph Balukas, who drives a cement mixer for a company in Boston and has lived on South Kimball Street for 59 years, said he will attend the meeting.

“There’s a septic company three doors down the road from me and some of the guys are great, but other drivers are snapping the jake brakes on their trucks whenever they drive through the neighborhood,” Balukas said.

A compression release engine brake — also referred to as a Jacobs Brake or Jake brake — is found on large diesel trucks. The brake stops the flow of both fuel and mechanical energy to the drive mechanism of the truck and makes a loud noise when releasing compressed air from the engine’s cylinders.

“It could be in the morning or the afternoon, when you’re having a cookout with your family and you hear a ‘blahhhh’ from the street,” Balukas said. “They’re made to decrease speed on the highway going down hills.”

Neighbors are also concerned that there are no speed limit signs on the road, he said.

“The trucks should be going slower than other vehicles. I’d like to see them put up speed limit signs,” said Balukas, who likens living on the street to living in Winthrop, a small town next to East Boston and Logan Airport.

“If you’re talking to someone outside,” he said, “it’s almost like you have to wait for airplanes to pass over before talking again.”

Follow Peter Francis on Twitter @PeterMFrancis


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