A group of citizens in Morgantown exercised their civic duty Tuesday night in bringing a proposal in front of City Council to keep their streets safe and clean.
Safe Streets Morgantown has spent the last year working on a proposal to remove heavy trucks from the Downtown Business District-- eight years after a similar proposal failed to advance through Council debate.
Council was extremely receptive to the idea, with some even interested in drafting an ordinance for the next Council Agenda. Some members were a little more cautious because of the possibility of litigation, but they did seem ready to run with the proposal.
"When election time came a year ago--a little over a year ago--this was one issue that we heard over, and over, and over," said 6th Ward representative Mike Fike during the meeting.
The proposal put forth includes the following:
- No person shall operate a heavy truck designed or operated for the transportation of property with a combined gross weight over 20,000 pounds in the Downtown Business District.
- No trucks with three or more axles.
- Does not include heavy trucks loading or unloading at a Downtown business
- Does not include emergency or military vehicles
- Does not include governmental or quasi-governmental vehicles
- Does not include solid waste disposal vehicles
- Does not include vehicles that are lawfully towing, hauling, or carrying wrecked/disabled vehicles.
- Does not include the operation of trucks upon any officially established detour in any case where a truck could lawfully be operated on the street for which such a detour was established
- Trucks can commute through the area with an issuance of a special permit by the City Manager
Safe Streets Morgantown is hoping that this will lead to less pollution and better quality of life for citizens and business owners.
"There are a ton of ancillary benefits that come along with a regulation as we've proposed. The quality of life goes up. Our streets are more easily maintained because they're not getting crushed down every five seconds," Brian McAllister, who helped draft the proposal, told 5 News. He added, "No one's stepping up to defend Morgantown on this issue so Morgantown's going to have to step up and defend itself."
The City Council will now study the proposal's legality, and it could place it on the Agenda during the next Committee of the Whole meeting.