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Greenwood City Council unanimously votes to adopt truck driving fine ordinance

by Thomas Saccente | June 7, 2023 at 2:00 a.m.
Sonny Bell, planning director for Greenwood, answers a question from the Greenwood City Council, not pictured, during the City Council's meeting Monday. (River Valley Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Saccente)

GREENWOOD -- Truck drivers now will have to pay a fine for carrying their wares through the city outside of a few select routes, with some exceptions.

The City Council voted 6-0 on Monday to prohibit heavy haul and semitrailer traffic on Center Street for a third and final time. Center Street used to be Arkansas 10 Spur in the state highway system.

Mayor Doug Kinslow has said the ordinance allows the Police Department to ticket drivers it finds are using Center Street as a truck route. Arkansas 10 is the city's designated truck route, though the ordinance wouldn't fine drivers making deliveries in the city.

The ordinance is meant to keep Center Street in good shape for as long as possible before repairs are needed, according to Kinslow.

Kinslow said Monday he believes the truck traffic has improved considerably in terms of trucks actually using intended routes.

Center Street facilitates traffic from U.S. 71, which is west of the city, into downtown Greenwood and vice versa. Arkansas 10 runs to and from U.S. 71 as well, but diverts traffic into the downtown area from the south while continuing east from Greenwood.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation transferred ownership of Center Street -- then called Arkansas 10 Spur -- to Greenwood last year after resurfacing the road, which spans about 3 miles from U.S. 71 to Arkansas 10. While this made maintaining the road the city's responsibility, it also gave Greenwood the right to restrict truck traffic through the city and route that traffic to what will be the new Greenwood Bypass.

The endeavor was part of a larger agreement between the Transportation Department and Greenwood to build the bypass in a two-phase project.

Dave Parker, public information officer for the Transportation Department, said in April the department plans to put the first phase out for bid in November and begin construction by early 2024.

Kinslow presented the ordinance to the City Council on Monday as a "finished product." The council had approved incomplete versions of the ordinance at its April and May meetings. The council had to approve three readings of the ordinance before it could be adopted, per state law.

The finished ordinance prohibits anybody from operating any commercial vehicle on any roads in Greenwood outside of the city's designated truck routes: Arkansas 10, Arkansas 96 and U.S. 71. Violators will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined no more than $200 per offense upon conviction, with each day of violation constituting a separate offense.

The ordinance defines a commercial vehicle as any vehicle with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds or carrying capacity of more than one ton and used to deliver passengers, tools, materials or livestock.

Such vehicles may leave the truck routes if the drivers need to load or unload property anywhere off the routes, the ordinance states. However, they can't leave until they reached the point closest to the most direct route possible to their destination. The mayor may designate alternate truck routes if one of the designated truck routes is undergoing repairs or otherwise temporarily not usable.

Emergency vehicles, city and county vehicles performing business and services, as well as school and church buses are among the vehicles exempt from the ordinance.

Greenwood Lake

The City Council also unanimously voted Monday to annex Greenwood Lake into the city as part of the citys Ward 2. The city will extend fire and police protection services to the area, as well as maintain a section of Mount Harmony Road it includes, according to the ordinance.

Sonny Bell, Greenwoods planning director, said the city owns the lake property. The land will be zoned as an "open space district," which is intended to provide for areas in which natural features and topography limit urban development, according to the citys zoning ordinance.

Source: Greenwood


Print Headline: Greenwood adopts truck driving fine ordinance


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