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M’boro reworks truck traffic ordinance

MURFREESBORO – The signs are coming down.

After accepting a recommendation from the town’s Truck Traffic Committee to keep weight limit signs prohibiting trucks over 6.5 tons from using Main Street, the Murfreesboro Town Council decided to rescind the signage.

The town council held a special meeting on March 21 to review their decision to keep the signs.

Stacy Futrell and Quinton Jenkins addressed the council with concerns about the signs and how they adversely affect truckers attempting to do business in the town.

The council also heard from Win Bridgers, District Engineer from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Chad Edge, NCDOT Division One Traffic Engineer for Northeast North Carolina. Bridgers explained to the council that the resurfacing of Main Street was from bypass to bypass and cost $2.8 million. According to Bridgers, a funding source of that magnitude would not be available again and if the signs were removed, damage to the road would accelerate.

Bridgers said in an earlier meeting that one loaded tractor trailer (80,000 gross pounds maximum legal weight) equals 5,000 passenger vehicles.

The town asked NCDOT to place the signs on Main Street a couple of years ago and NCDOT has a vested interest in what signs have been posted, Edge said. According to Edge, it is unreasonable to post signs on all of the streets in town.

Department of Motor Vehicles First Sgt. Smith addressed the council and stated the signs posted on Main Street are not regular signs and are unenforceable by the DMV. The signs must be changed to “Axle Limit 6.5 Tons” instead of “Weight Limit 6.5 Tons” for it to be enforceable, according to Smith.

After a lengthy discussion, Council member Sarah Wallace offered a motion to rescind the motion made at the previous Truck Council Meeting held on March 14 to keep the signs. Council member Billy Theodorakis seconded the motion, which passed with only Council member Bill Stephens voting against it. Wallace then offered another motion to rescind the signage on Main Street and make signage stating the axle weight limit on Wynn, Spring and Union streets and, if possible, reduce the speed limit to 25 mph. The motion passed unanimously.

During Tuesday night’s regular meeting, the council adopted a resolution stating the town “wishes to acquire” the portion of Vaughan’s Creek Road known as North Wynn Street from NCDOT. The council also wishes to assume street maintenance and traffic control on North Wynn Street from Main Street to the town limits.

The council adopted another resolution requesting NCDOT to develop an ordinance to install signage on North Wynn Street (Vaughan’s Creek Road), Spring Avenue and Union Street at the gateways to Murfreesboro for truck traffic and wishes the signage to state “Axle Weight Limit 6-1/2 Tons”. The council also requests that NCDOT lower the speed limit on North Wynn from 35 mph to 25 mph.