Proposed ban to tractor trailers on stretch of Second Street - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Proposed ban to tractor trailers on stretch of Second Street

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LAWTON, Okla._ A proposal to ban tractor trailers from driving on a stretch of 2nd Street is currently in front of the Lawton Traffic Commission.

Officials say the semis are causing damage to city streets in an area they are trying to revitalize. The ongoing road construction along I-44 is detouring many of those trucks that can not divert from Cache Rd. onto the highway. So, many of them are using 2nd Street as an alternate route, however, city officials say they don't want it any longer.

"We've had a large increase in the number of trucks that are coming through this area," says Jerry Ihler, public works director. "They'll hit the curbs and they might chip away a piece of the curb or they'll leave black marks on the curb."

In the recent past, even some decorative brick crosswalks have been damaged, which has been a big cost to the city to fix.

"Weight is part of the issue (and) turning movements," says Ihler.

Councilman Jay Burk says the city has put in a big effort to try to make the downtown district more traversable, and he says if 2nd Street continues to be a main through fare for tractor trailers it will make it a less attractive place to be for pedestrians.

"We just don't believe that having semi trucks and pedestrians is a good combination," says Burk.

He wants to see ODOT change their truck route and the traffic commission to recommend to the city council that tractor trailers over five tons be banned on a nearly one mile stretch from NW 2nd Street and Ferris Ave. to SW 2nd Street and C Ave. near Central Mall.

Nearby businesses, like Dan Mullins Nissan, are worried: "It's a huge issue," says Mullins.

He says his dealership gets multiple shipments a week via tractor trailers and he knows he's not alone. Burk and Ihler both say that trucks will be allowed to cross 2nd Street at the intersection in front of the car dealership, but they will not be able to drive along the road.

"They're just going to use a different truck route than coming down 2nd Street," says Burk.

Mullins says that's a solution, but it will still be an adjustment.

"When you start redirecting 18-wheeler traffic through C Ave. and the smaller streets it's a real logistical nightmare for them."

This issue will top the agenda at the traffic commission's next meeting on March 20. Whatever measure they pass will have to be approved by the city council before being officially implemented.

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