Council studying alternate truck ban

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2005

The Suffolk City Council is asking the Virginia Department of Transportation to study the city’s proposal to deal with increased truck traffic on several northern Suffolk roadways.

City lawmakers, during their meeting Wednesday, unanimously approved a resolution asking the state to look at its proposal to expand the existing no-through-truck traffic ban on Nansemond Parkway to include three nearby roadways: Bennett’s Pasture, Knotts Neck and Shoulders Hill roads.

The state Commonwealth Transportation Board approved banning through truck traffic on Nansemond Parkway, between Wilroy Road and the Chesapeake line, in September, said Eric Nielsen, the city’s public works director.

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The ban came days after a Nansemond River High School student was seriously injured in a traffic accident.

After the Nansemond Parkway restriction, many trucks began using the other northern Suffolk roadways to avoid the weight scales on U.S. 58, said Nielsen. It also had a negative impact on truckers trying to reach local businesses off Nansemond Parkway, he said.

The intent behind the original restriction was to keep truck traffic on the major highways:

Interstate 664, U.S. Route 58/460 and Route 17, Nielsen said.

&uot;It sort of had a surprise, unintended impact on local business,&uot; said Nielsen.

&uot;We’re proposing to create a zone…where trucks can go in and make deliveries. It will provide flexibility to businesses and trucks delivering within that zone.&uot;

No one showed up to speak at council’s public hearing on the proposal Wednesday, probably because of the snowy weather.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett supported the recommendation, saying the original ban was never intended to hinder truckers heading to local businesses.

&uot;We don’t want to do anything to restrict businesses in the area,&uot; he said.