Crothersville creating ordinance to keep semis off town streets



Crothersville’s streets aren’t made for semitrailers.

Town council President Danieta Foster said some of the large trucks recently have become stuck and torn up yards.

The town, however, doesn’t have an ordinance regulating on which roads semis aren’t allowed.

During a recent meeting, Foster proposed having town attorney Matt Lorenzo draft an ordinance listing which streets trucks shouldn’t travel on, and her fellow council members agreed with that move.

That will be presented for first reading at the next council meeting, set for 6 p.m. April 6 at Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St. If approved, it will move to a final reading at the May 4 meeting.

Street Superintendent Mike Deaton drew up a diagram of places where “No trucks” signs should be posted and submitted an expense of nearly $400 for 15 signs. That includes a few spare signs.

The streets where trucks won’t be allowed include Walnut Street east and west, Bard Street east and Dixon Street east and west.

Near the former Versatech building and on the west end of Industrial Way, there are “No trucks beyond this point” signs, but Foster said town police officers can’t enforce those because they aren’t included in a town ordinance.

“Our whole goal is to get signs up to make sure they know ‘This is where you’ve got to go,’ even though their GPS is telling them something else,” she said.

Howard and Main streets will remain open to semis so they can get to the former Versatech building on the west side of town and the school building on the east side. Plus, they can turn onto Industrial Way from U.S. 31 on the south end of town to access the industries, but they can’t go farther than the “No trucks beyond this point” sign.

“This is going to push all of these trucks to Howard and Main and Industrial Way,” Foster said. “They would not be allowed to turn on any of these other streets. This is just a start for coming off of 31 to get them to the right places.”

In many cases, Foster said the driver’s GPS sends them on the wrong route, resulting in getting stuck or not being able to make turns.

That includes going past the sign on Industrial Way and winding up on Bethany Road. Police Chief Matt Browning said he recently stopped a truck driver taking that route.

Truck drivers also are missing the turn from U.S. 31 to Industrial Way, then either having to try to turn around in the nearby MasterSbilt parking lot or going on through town and taking a town street.

Having the town add signage near Industrial Way guiding trucks to the industries was suggested.

Council Vice President Chad Wilson also said it would be good to see the 55 mph speed limit reduced from the Interstate 65 interchange to Industrial Way coming into town. That way, trucks would be traveling slower and may be less likely to miss the turn.

That, however, would require action from the Indiana Department of Transportation since U.S. 31 is a federal highway.

“There have been several accidents down in that area, and I think a lot of it is due to the speed limit,” Wilson said. “I think the speed limit needs to be dropped.”

Councilman Jamy Greathouse said he has been through communities with a truck route and wondered if that would work in Crothersville instead of putting up “No trucks” signs.

“If you don’t put signs on every one of these streets, I don’t care where you put a truck route, they are going to go down these streets when their GPS tells them to go down these streets,” Foster said. “Basically, (putting up signs) is creating a truck route.”

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