SMART seeks a regional forum on freight

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A group known as the Southeast Massachusetts Regional Transportation (SMART) Citizens Task Force is calling on state legislators to hold a regional forum on freight traffic between the Cape and Islands.

In a letter to state Rep. Vinny deMacedo, state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, and state Rep. David Vieira, SMART states that it is “focused on shifting to other mainland ports as much of the non-time-sensitive freight traffic as possible that is currently traveling to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket via Woods Hole and Hyannis.”

At a recent meeting in Falmouth, Steamship Authority general manager Robert Davis said no company has bid on providing freight service from New Bedford to Martha’s Vineyard.

Early morning freight traffic has been a chronic complaint from Woods Hole residents to the SSA.

“The current solution for freight to the islands causes chronic vehicular bottlenecks from the Bourne and Sagamore bridges to Woods Hole and Hyannis,” the SMART letter states.

The letter seeks more collaboration on SSA terminal projects, the need for regional planning, and a clear explanation of “of individual towns’ liability in the event of a catastrophic SSA ferry accident.”