In an effort to cut down the amount of heavy truck traffic in downtown Franklin, Town Aldermen voted unanimously to ban commercial thru-trucks with three axles or more on Wayah Street.
The vote followed a public session in which two residents along Wayah Street spoke in support of the ban.
“You don’t need all that weight and noise on that street,” said Wayah Street resident William Howell Derrick before the board. “The trucks have gotten bigger and heavier and every 90 days the DOT fills the holes and cracks [in the road]… You just don’t need all that traffic.”
Howell added that the area’s close proximity to Franklin High School was another risk of continuing thru-traffic along the street, offering Dowdle Mountain Road as a safe alternative route. “It just makes sense to me that they be re-routed.”
“The biggest complaint I got is not necessarily the noise as much, but it’s just unsafe,” said Raleigh Buchanan, who lives “on the 50- yard line” of the football field on Wayah Street. “Kids walk the sidewalk down through there and that’s a little highway—probably 20 foot or less—and those trucks are over eight feet wide. They take out the curb when they pass each other… I just think it’s a bad idea to route heavy trucks through there. It’s unsafe.”
After a public session and with little discussion, aldermen unanimously voted to re-route all heavy northbound thrutrucks to the 441 by-pass, then to Dowdle Mountain Road, Wells Grove and onto Depot Street. Once NCDOT agrees to the ordinance, mapping and signage of the route will be established by the state in the near future.