Ordinance would ban truck traffic on road

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 1:05 a.m.
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A semitrailer turns onto NW 5th Avenue from County Road 235 on Monday.

CHRISTINA STUART/The Gainesville Sun
NEWBERRY - Trucks would no longer be allowed to use a popular shortcut under an ordinance passed by the City Commission on first reading Monday night.
The ordinance, which must be voted on twice before it is formally approved, would ban through truck traffic on NW 5th Avenue, which commissioners said many truck drivers use to avoid traffic on State Road 26. Signs will be put up where NW 5th Avenue connects with U.S. 41/27 and County Road 235.
City Commissioner Debbie Boyd said she brought the issue to officials' attention after being asked about it by city residents, including the family who gave the land to the city that became the road.
"The issues on the road were safety and financial," Boyd said. Use of the street by tractor-trailers increased during the widening of State Road 26, and caused wear and tear to the road, she said.
"Really the turning radius is not good enough to allow the big trucks to take the turn without running over the shoulders," she said.
Trucks from Watson Construction use the route every day to get back and forth from the company's location at the Newberry Industrial Park, Watson's projects manager Ernie Windsor said. Although Windsor said he thought the ordinance would increase congestion at the intersection of State Road 26 and U.S. 27/41, he said the company would educate its drivers of the new requirement.
"It's an extra block one way or an extra block the other way, it's just not that big a problem," Windsor said.
"We're in this community and if that's what residents want and what the commission wants, it's not worth discussing," he said.
Alachua County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Troiano said authorities will look at how the Newberry ordinance is designed and develop methods of enforcement.
"The easiest way is to educate the community and make sure they understand what is required, what is asked of them," Troiano said. "If that is done, usually there are only a few violators that have to be dealt with."
Rachel Kipp can be reached at (352) 374-5086 or kippr@gvillesun.com.

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