Our view: The right way to fix the right of way
Aug 04, 2010 | 1200 views |  1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No one likes to see city streets ruined by heavy truck traffic, and it should not be shrugged off as part of the price of development. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach the problem.

Pell City is doing it the right way.

When it became apparent that trucks carrying heavy loads through downtown Pell City for delivery to the Publix construction site were damaging the pavement on Cogswell Avenue, the police chief, the street department superintendent, the mayor and the developers worked out a plan to make repairs and to minimize further damage.

Police Chief Mike Turley said his department had already determined that the trucks were not speeding, but were sliding when they made a right-angle turn. The weight of the loads, not the speed of the trucks, is the source of the problem he said, and the developers have begun weighing the trucks themselves to ensure compliance with weight limits. One developer is even helping to pay to repair the pavement, Turley said.

Because it’s not just the dump trucks, but also through-traffic from 18-wheelers that is damaging the pavement, Turley said, the plan includes more clearly marking the truck route through town and stricter enforcement.

Perhaps the most forward-looking part of the plan is that for future development, the police chief or someone he designates will meet with the developers before construction begins — an idea that came from the South Park Shopping Center developers.

When this problem surfaced, all the people involved could have begun yelling and pointing fingers, but instead they identified the source of the problem and set about fixing it. How refreshing!

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