Scottville asking for input on truck routes.

February 12, 2022

Scottville asking for input on truck routes.

By Rob Alway

Rob Alway is editor-in-chief and owner of Mason County Press. He is also an elected city commissioner/mayor pro-tem of the City of Scottville. He writes this column as a way to communicate with constituents as a commissioner.

SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville Buildings and Grounds Committee will host a public forum on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 105 N. Main St., to receive public feedback about changing the city’s truck routes. 

One of the main purposes of this forum is for the committee to have a dialogue with the agricultural community. Before we discuss that any further, a little background on how the truck route conversation begin. 

Last fall, Scottville Police Chief Matt Murphy raised concerns about the heavy semi-truck traffic that travels on Main Street in Scottville. These concerns include wear and tear on the street, the speed of the vehicles, and the challenge of driving down the narrow downtown.

Chief Murphy suggested that the city commission explore changing the existing truck routes to include eliminating heavy truck traffic on Main Street between Johnson Road to First Street. 

I suggested early on that the city should reach out to the agricultural community and start a dialogue about its feedback. It’s very clear that state law allows farming vehicles to travel through a restricted zone as long as they are transporting goods from one location to another. Scottville has traditionally been the agricultural center of Mason County and has had a great relationship with the farming community. There should never be a perception that this route change would intentionally cause strife with the farmers. Clearly, the city can’t stop the farm trucks from going through town, but perhaps through conversation there can be voluntary choices to seek alternatives when it’s practical. 

The city does have the authority, however, to enforce existing traffic laws and city ordinances when applicable. Besides agricultural traffic and local delivery traffic, there is still a large amount of semi-trucks that travel on Main Street, avoiding the US 31 bypass, which was created to reduce truck traffic in town. 

The city does have existing truck routes. These routes include portions of Columbia Avenue, Broadway Avenue, First Street and Reinberg Avenue along with Main Street. It’s very evident that trucks should avoid Columbia, Broadway and Reinberg unless they are delivering goods to a business or residence in those areas.

Most of these routes are not practical. What does make sense is having a truck route that includes First Street west from Main Street to Reinberg Avenue north to State Street (US 10). The idea is to have trucks use the bypass and avoid wear and tear on the city’s streets. I want to be clear that no portion of this portion would prevent any type of truck traffic on State Street, which is US 10. That is out of the city’s jurisdiction. 

Trucks delivering to local businesses or residences would be exempt from the truck route. 

Two things that would make the truck routes more practical would be if the Michigan Department of Transportation would place traffic lights at the intersections of US 31 and US 10 and State Street (US 10) and Reinberg Avenue.

If you have some feedback to offer about the truck routes, please attend the forum. 

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