Truck Restriction Nixed By Board

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, July 16, 2015

BUCKINGHAM — Buckingham supervisors Monday rejected a request to restrict through truck traffic on Troublesome Creek and Fanny White roads.

The action, which drew opposition from District Five Supervisor Cassandra Stish and District Four Supervisor John Staton, followed a public hearing where some residents cited the dangers of the roads and others defended the trucking and logging industries in the county.

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The discussion was initiated last month when Buckingham resident Carolyn Duncan presented a petition with more than 100 signatures asking the board to make a formal request to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for the designation. The petition cited heavy traffic on the road and VDOT studies citing that 800 to 1,000 vehicles use the two roads daily on weekdays.

Duncan, who presented to the board photos of an accident involving a logging truck, highlighted three tractor-trailer rollovers on the Troublesome Creek Road.

“Something needs to be done. We have a lot of traffic … I hope that you all search yourself very deeply on this issue,” Duncan, who lives on Troublesome Creek Road, said during the public hearing, which drew six speakers. “Our citizen’s lives are at risk,” she said, citing the school buses, school staff and parents that use the roads.

According to VDOT, a through truck is defined as any truck, truck and trailer or semitrailer combination, except a pickup or panel truck, that travels from one point to another with no origin or destination along the route traveled.

Clifford Foster, who owns trucks and lives on Troublesome Creek Road, highlighted the importance of the trucking industry in Buckingham. “[When] limiting trucks, you’re limiting your economic growth. That’s what we don’t want to do in Buckingham County. I mean, pulpwood is always big here. It’s going to be here,” he said. The potential restriction was not “economically sound,” Foster said.

“Trucks pose a great hazard due to their size and speed not only to normal drivers, but [to] students, teachers and the many school buses that use these roads daily,” the petition stated.

In Buckingham, the two roads are known as a shortcut for traffic between U.S. Routes 20 and 60 and High School Road.

Lizzie Chambers, who also lives on Troublesome Creek Road, cited the dangers of the road. “Sometimes they go through there so fast and they take most of the room from the cars,” she said.

Morgan Dunnavant said that “any prohibition to truck traffic is not pro-business and it’s hampering economic activity.”

After thanking the citizens who spoke during the hearing, Staton, who initiated the public hearing in June, said “to take no action will not please anyone.”

“If we start limiting transportation in this county,” said District Two Supervisor Donnie Bryan, “we may as well just tell businesses to not to come here. Truckers have to make a living and sometimes taking shortcuts, it has to be done.”

Bryan encouraged those who see people driving unsafely to report them to law enforcement.

According to an email from Scot E. Shippee, VDOT’s Dillwyn Residency assistant resident engineer, to County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter, an informal study of Troublesome Creek Road showed that “there is no compelling reason to prohibit the process of restricting trucks along this segment.”