Crothersville semi ordinance passes on first reading

CROTHERSVILLE

If an ordinance passes one more reading, semitrailers won’t be allowed on certain Crothersville streets.

Town attorney Matt Lorenzo drafted an ordinance and presented it to the Crothersville Town Council to review. Council President Danieta Foster introduced it during a recent meeting, and the first reading passed unanimously.

The second and final reading will be done during the next meeting, set for 6 p.m. May 4 at the town hall, 111 E. Howard St., Crothersville. Upon approval, the ordinance would go into effect.

As of now, the council agreed on a $500 fine for each violation.

“We are not trying to keep trucks out of Crothersville,” Foster said. “We’re trying to direct them to a more safe route and avoid property damage and them getting stuck in people’s yards.”

The main purpose is to keep the trucks on Main Street and Industrial Way, which are wide enough to accommodate them.

“That way, they don’t get down here and get to Bethany Road off Howard Street and can’t turn because their GPS is taking them in the wrong direction,” Foster said. “If we have signs on (U.S.) 31, maybe that will stop them getting hung up, tearing people’s yards up, tearing up their trucks. It doesn’t seem like we had this problem before GPS, but now, we do.”

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.

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.

The ordinance would bar trucks from these streets:

  • East Walnut Street from U.S. 31 to North East Street
  • East Bard Street from U.S. 31 to North East St
  • Dixon Street from U.S. 31 east to Seymour Road
  • Dixon Street from U.S. 31 to the railroad tracks
  • South Kovener Street from West Howard Street to Industrial Way
  • South Kovener Street from Park Avenue to Bethany Road
  • North Kovener Street from Myers Street to West Walnut Street
  • Marshall Drive from U.S. 31 to Moore Street

During discussion about ordinance violations, Councilwoman Katie Masters asked if a warning should be issued for a first offense or go straight to a ticket.

“Nine times out of 10, you’ll never see that driver again,” Clerk-Treasurer Staci Peters said.

“People that drive through high water don’t get a warning, and there are plenty of signs. I’ve rescued enough,” Councilman Jason Hillenburg, who also is a volunteer firefighter, said before recommending a fine of $500.

Lorenzo said that sounds like a fair number since it would help cover the cost of any stop signs or other property damage caused by semis and it hopefully would deter semi drivers from going down those streets.

In March, 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.

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.

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.