Community Watchdog: Trucks bother West Babylon residents

Michelle Falco on Golding Avenue in West Babylon. Michelle Falco on Golding Avenue in West Babylon. Large delivery trucks have used the street to get to a nearby Stop & Shop because GPS units have displayed an incorrect address for the store. (Oct. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Judy Cartwright

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Judy Cartwright Judy Cartwright

Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column ...

"No Trucks" signs are posted at each end of Golding Avenue, a residential street in West Babylon. But delivery trucks have paid little heed.

Truck drivers headed to a nearby Super Stop & Shop, on Route 109, have told residents that GPS directions send them to an entrance at 88 Golding.

No such entrance exists.

"The entrance to this store is located on Route 109. [But] when this store was being built, they petitioned for an entrance on Golding Avenue," resident Michelle Falco told us in an email. Babylon Town denied the request, she said, but the address has endured, even on the company's website.

Would a simple address change keep trucks off the street? We would soon find out the word "simple" didn't apply.

We contacted corporate Stop & Shop, GPS companies and a service that provides their location data. Then we tried to track down the company that sends out the delivery trucks. Our only clue: Many trucks bore the letters DCS.

Several weeks later, we can report progress.

First, from Stop & Shop's corporate office: Just before Thanksgiving, a spokeswoman reported that staff had been told to change the address on the company's website. When we checked Monday, the location was correct: 363 Rte. 109. Still, a web search continued to display the Golding address.

The next step showed more promise: The letters "DCS" are an abbreviation for Dedicated Contract Services, which led us to the transportation-services company JB Hunt Transport Inc. On Tuesday, the company updated the store's address in its routing system.

The change will automatically change the GPS routing, said transportation general manager Matthew Adams, who is working with two "sites that deliver to that store to alter their directions and remind the drivers of the updated address."

He cautioned that results may not be immediate. If trucks continue to use the street, he said, residents can note the truck or trailer number to help the company "identify the individual drivers we need to address."

The neighborhood's frustrations are borne out by dangling utility lines torn loose by passing trucks. Residents fear for the safety of young children because, if a quick stop were necessary, "the sheer weight [of the truck] will not allow it," Falco said.

The town has asked Suffolk County police to increase monitoring in the area but won't be adding more, or larger, "No Trucks" signs, spokesman Kevin Bonner said. The existing signs were installed when the supermarket was built, he said, and truck traffic on Golding since then has been "minimal."

That word doesn't provide much solace to neighbors. For now, they're pinning their hopes on the simple address change.

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