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Borough eyes keeping trucks off side street

September 04, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - The small black box plugged into Kevin Grubbs' computer transmitted a week's worth of data in mere moments, quickly giving him an idea of what the traffic situation has been on South Church Street.

For the daytime hours Thursday, the traffic counter reported 571 passenger cars, five buses, 106 pickup trucks, 45 tandem trucks, six two-axle trucks, seven tri-axle trucks, two quad-axle trucks and one tractor-trailer with five axles.

While large trucks might not use the road as frequently as personal vehicles, they are the ones affecting the road's structural integrity, said Grubbs, who is Waynesboro's director of borough engineering.

"The percentages are going to be low, but what we're going to try to do is get rid of the big ones. ... That road is not designed to handle that load," Grubbs said.

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He is summarizing and cumulating data from Aug. 24 to 31 to present to Waynesboro Borough Council's street committee at its Sept. 11 meeting. The proposal to restrict truck traffic on South Church Street has been floated at previous meetings, Committee Chairman Allen Porter said.

"I don't know when it first came up, but it has been mentioned two or three times in the past," Porter said.

The one-way street was recently rebuilt. Porter said he suspects out-of-town drivers see South Church Street on a map and assume it's a good way to reach industry to the south, only to find the road rather narrow.

The street committee will be charged with making a recommendation to the borough council whether to post signs that restrict trucks from using the street.

"Trucks would be limited to local deliveries only," Porter said.

Grubbs feels the street's condition is compromised by vehicles heavier than a garbage truck.

Initial reports from the traffic counter showed speed isn't a problem, he said.

One hundred and fifty thousand commercial vehicles log 13 million miles on Pennsylvania roads daily, a state Department of Transportation spokesman said.

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