Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:35 am
Re: March 2016
Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:04 am
This month's newsletter was not included with the monthly water bill. There was a robo-call to let us know it would be mailed separately.
Let's examine the Manager's message this month. The subject is one with which I am very familiar:
Point 1: N. Main is not a city-owned or city-maintained road and the city has been taking steps to see that these concerns are addressed.
TRUE. I wouldn't object to any of that information. That's good level-setting and a good baseline to have this conversation. There is one caveat that should be added -- which is how this quickly was escalated to the City Council level... There is no defined/documented strategy for the N. Main corridor to which city staff can use to best manage this issue. So the city staff can only do so much without a Council-defined strategy. (The existing/current Strategic Vision Plan at least specifies two other freight route options that have so far not been pursued or accomplished.)
Point 2: The road will be repaired as best it can be.
TRUE. With all the attention this issue has appreciated over the last 2 years, there is public scrutiny on how repairs will be done. In some details, having the NCDOT come before City Council in August 2015 to discuss the repairs may result in better repairs. Kudos to those who had the foresight to have our city involved with the NCDOT.
Point 3: The rerouting of trucks is a far more detailed and intricate matter.
TRUE. This is something that will best be considered with the full support and good faith efforts of people who are well-qualified in this area. And it should certainly be something of a negotiation with the NCDOT. (The proposal sent to Council in April 2015 was a total restriction on trucks -- but the type of restriction is a variable: total weight, number of axles, length of truck, etc.)
Point 4: the City of Mount Holly does not have the authority to reroute the trucks in question.
TRUE -- BUT.... A city-defined truck route starts with the city declaring a truck route. The NCDOT accepts that city-defined truck route and determines how best to consider that in an enforceable truck route. Technically, it's the NCDOT that has the authority to reroute the trucks in question. But in the Mayor's words and understanding of the problem: "Nothing happens with roads and traffic in our town unless/until City Council agrees to it." Or turning that statement around... If the City Council decides not to act, so will the NCDOT.
Point 5: Highway 273 would have to be changed in a way that trucks would not be able to use any portion of it.
TRUE -- BUT.... Defining which kinds of trucks can use or not use specific portions of 273 is what can be negotiated with the NCDOT. (This means restrictions for "any" part of the road -- not all parts of the road.) In the links the Manager provided, there are examples of towns and the NCDOT working together to restrict specific kinds of truck traffic on certain sections of road. Two such examples are:
(Stanly County only trucks weighing more than 13,000 pounds are restricted on a state-owned road and on Main Street...) "Trucks and other vehicles of a gross vehicle weight in excess of 13,000 lbs. shall be prohibited NC 24-27-73 (East Main Street) from NC 740 eastward to the eastern corporate limit, at SR 1731 (Sweet Home Church Road)."
(Caswell County trucks with a weight or axle profile are intended to be restricted on a Main Street in a town...) "Through vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of greater than 26,000 pounds with three (3) or more axles; or truck and trailer combinations with three (3) or more axles and a combined gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 26,000 pounds, shall be prohibited from SR 1163 (Main Street) northward to US 158/NC 86 in Yanceyville."
So there are instances of similar restrictions being done included in the links the Manager provided. There is also "local delivery" which in many cases cannot be restricted or is restricted differently. When a councilman was asked what they would do with a solution that could be presented to them, the councilman's response was "not much of anything". Which would imply if/when a solution presented itself, there isn't an interest on behalf of council to take any action that is possible. And there lies the rub: the public must create the interest that would cause council to act. How is it best to create that interest in the most constructive and least harmful way to our town and those in it?
In all cases, we all can look forward to having the road repaired.
Personally, I appreciate the Manager stepping into a contentious topic. This is the most complete/comprehensive communication I've read in my 2-year history understanding this problem. If his intent was to better inform and engage with the public he serves, this is a good step in that direction.
Re: March 2016
Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:23 am
Re: March 2016
Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:35 am
These are pictures of maps of what is proposed. The first one is how a nearby town has restricted truck traffic in Stanly County. The second one is our existing plan. The third one is a proposed restriction through residential areas which could be restricted by: weight, axles, and/or length of truck.