Trinity prohibits large trucks on town streets

Michael Wetzel, The Decatur Daily, Ala.
·3 min read

Mar. 3—TRINITY — Large trucks trying to pass between Alabama 20 and Alabama 24 are no longer welcome on Trinity streets after the Town Council tired of the damage and safety hazards they caused.

After several recent incidents in which large trucks unsuccessfully tried to make turns on tight streets, the Town Council voted unanimously Jan. 25 in favor of an ordinance limiting truck access on the town's streets.

Mayor Vaughn Goodwin said some older GPS programs direct motorists through town when traveling between Alabama 20 and Alabama 24.

"They come from all directions," Goodwin said. "We had a truck block North Mountain Drive for two or three hours before a wrecker could get the road cleared."

The town's first ordinance of 2021 makes it "unlawful for any person to operate a truck, truck tractor or road tractor on any public street or way within the municipal limits of the town without written permission from the chief of police."

The ordinance does not include pickups or other vehicles intended primarily for the transportation of passengers.

Those who plead guilty will be fined $50 plus court costs, but any subsequent violations within two years will require a court appearance.

The maximum penalty is a $250 fine or 30 days in jail.

The ordinance does not apply to Alabama 24 or Alabama 20, which run through the town limits. The town has posted "No trucks" and "Trucks prohibited" signs along entrances into Trinity.

"The ordinance is something that was needed to be done before now," Goodwin said. "It's all about keeping our residents safe."

Ricky Richardson lives on South Greenway Drive in Trinity and said he occasionally sees 18-wheelers pass in front of his house but knows the town's streets can't adequately handle the large trucks.

"In town I could see the trucks have trouble making some tight turns," said Richardson, a Trinity resident for the past three years.

"I think it's a good ordinance to prevent them. It's for the safety of the drivers and the residents to keep them from passing through town that way," Richardson said.

Goodwin said the intersection at North Seneca Drive and North Greenway Drive is "very concerning."

"We've had trucks get stuck on private property at that intersection trying to make a wide turn," he said. "It's not safe to have those trucks there."

Goodwin said when trucks tip over or get stuck, the access for emergency vehicles needing to serve the area is compromised.

He said the Police Department often discovers that out-of-state commercial trucks on the town's narrow streets have older GPS systems.

"Probably three times in the past three months, we've had trucks take out stop signs, street signs, a water meter," Goodwin said. "It has cost us about $2,500 to replace the signs, not to mention the crews needed to repair the streets. I know $2,500 doesn't sound like much, but it adds up, especially for a small town like Trinity. But it is a public safety issue, too."

He said the truck problem has been an "off-and-on issue the past year or so. We needed to address the issue."

He said as of Tuesday afternoon, no citations had been issued to drivers violating the ordinance.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.