truce reached on Franklin Street

truce reached on Franklin Street

The rumblings from neighbors over truck traffic on Franklin Street had quieted since the previous City Council meeting, when Woolen Mills resident Bill Emory played a tape of truck noise, ruffling Mayor David Brown. At that time, it seemed that no compromise short of a no-trucks ordinance would appease the E. Market Street residents.
    But, at a meeting on October 2 between homeowners and businesses (including concrete company H.T. Ferron), antagonism gave way to a nice, sunny compromise, which was presented at the City Council meeting later that night.
    Neighbors and businesses decided that stop signs would be placed on either side of a narrow underpass where Franklin Street meets the railroad tracks. A “No Outlet for Tractor-Trailers” sign will be placed south of the railroad crossing to discourage trucks from driving on Franklin Street toward E. Market Street. And, a “Stop Ahead” sign will be placed ahead of the Franklin-East Market T-intersection. (A driver previously crashed into a house at that abrupt stopping point.)
    As a result of these provisions, City Council decided not to pass an ordinance that would have prohibited all truck traffic on Franklin Street. Residents of two trailer parks on Carlton Avenue have argued this plan would have simply transferred the problem to their street as an alternate route. At the October meeting, Mayor Brown pledged to follow up on the situation in early 2007.
    Still, some neighbors seemed displeased about the presence of a concrete plant in their neighborhood at all. “On Carlton Avenue we have a concrete plant that is 30′ away from people’s homes. The plant would never be sited there today. We must watch everything they do very carefully.” Woolen Mills resident Karl Ackerman said. “We’re sick of breathing the stink of the RWSA. We’re sick and tired of the trucks.”
    One resident of the Carlton Mobile Home Park, just south of the Franklin Street railroad crossing, thinks the issue is less about traffic and noise concerns, and more about snotty neighbors.
    “On the Market Street side, you have more or less middle-class to upper-class. Over on this side is the working class of this city,” Leron Morris says. “The Woolen Mills…most of the people that live there have moved there. People move here and try to tell you what’s best for you because they’re not happy where they came from. [The trucks] are loud, but why try to take the trucks from your area and bring it to our area?”
    Morris participated in the discussion between Woolen Mills neighbors and businesses, and supports the hold-off on the ordinance. But, if a truck ordinance is eventually passed on Franklin, he says he’ll support City Council’s decision. “I really wouldn’t have any choice,” he admits. —Meg McEvoy

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