Semi truck traffic problems

Since March, several residents who live on Park Street have expressed concerns about safety issues and property damage caused by semi truck traffic through their neighborhood.

Since March, several residents who live on Park Street have expressed concerns about safety issues and property damage caused by semi truck traffic through their neighborhood.

In addition to complaints from Park Street residents, some of the business owners who operate out of buildings near the intersection of Moulton and Park Street have also come forward with the accounts of  how semi trucks coming down Business Highway 69 – which Moulton is a section of – has affected them.

Many of the business owners who have come to Greenville City Council meetings to speak about the issue have mentioned damage in the parking lot of the shopping center that contains Glenda’s Cafe, Illuminate Dance Studio and Cause for Paws.

On Friday, Glenda Yost spoke with the Herald-Banner about the problems she’s had with semi-trucks driving through the parking lot in front of her cafe.

“We had two come through just this morning, but they didn’t damage anything,” Yost said. “But, about a week or two ago, a truck came through her and hit the electrical pole. I didn’t lose electricity, but some of the people across the street did.”

“This time, they hit the pole at around 5 p.m., so it was after business hours, but a few years ago, one knocked my power out while customers were here, and I had to close. Me and a lot of people around here lost income when that happened,” Yost continued.

“Two of my employees have had their cars hit by trucks – included a police officer, whose new patrol car was damaged – and there have been several times when customers have had to get up while eating to move their cars to get out of a truck’s way,” Yost added.

Since the first complaints in March, efforts have been made by city administration to help keep semi trucks out of the heavily residential area by increasing signage saying ‘No Thru Trucks’ for drivers as they exit Interstate 30 and turn onto Moulton Street – which is a section of Business Highway 69.

However, despite increases in signage and enforcement, homeowners and business owners situated near the intersection of Park and Moulton Street continued to have issues like tree limbs falling into their driveways after being broken off by semi trucks and power outages due to utility poles being struck.

In June, representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation told the city council that the city is responsible for any changes made to truck routes within Greenville – even if those truck routes are on designated state highways.

After the input given by TxDOT and still persisting problems with semi truck traffic on Moulton and Park Street, two individuals came to last week’s city council meeting to suggest possible solutions.

One of them, Dennis Mathis, actually met previously with Greenville City Manager Summer Spurlock, TxDOT Area Engineer Martin Gonzalez and Greenville Police Chief Scott Smith in March, to discuss the issue.

He suggested that the city hire a consultant well versed in “traffic flow, truck routes, hazmat requirements, and signage” to help develop a better action plan.

The other individual who spoke at last week’s city council meeting, Rodney Follis, pointed out that truck drivers exiting I-30 onto Moulton aren’t the only ones that need to be considered, but also those exiting from Highway 69, onto Jack Finney – by Forest Park Cemetery – and then onto Moulton may also be contributing to the problem.

In his comments, Follis, pointed out that one of the highway signs pointing down Moulton off of Highway 69, doesn’t have the word “business” on it, and that that could be leading to some of the confusion.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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