By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Public Works members took a referral on complaints regarding delivery trucks driving down Baker St.; a practice that is against city ordinance that continues to plague some area residents.
However, according to Public Works Director Joe Terry, the problem is hard to quell due to the many different drivers from different parts of the country that deliver good into Wisconsin Rapids. Signage to deter delivery trucks to alternate delivery routes are very recent, and he asks for more time for them to be effective.
“Police officers have been patrolling the area and have been making contact with trucks, and have found that many of the trucks have been utilizing Baker St. appropriately, meaning they’re taking the shortest route; to and from the state highway,” said Terry.
Terry recommended tabling any action on the matter for 12 months while Public Works employees continue to gather data on Baker St. usage. Terry also recommended the possibility of putting into practice specific local routes for truck drivers to keep them off of Baker St. as much as possible, and incorporate such routes into an official truck map.
“The idea is that the city can recommend some local routes specifically for to go to and from delivery locations.”
City officials, however, want to see action much sooner, as they cite the safety and well-being of those in the Baker St. area, especially children. According to Alderperson Steve Koth, while police may have put extra officers in the area to better patrol the street, 12 months is simply too long to table the issue.
“I don’t think tabling it is the right path,” said Koth. “…I think we need to try and figure out something to get it done; it’s something we need to work on sooner, rather than later.”
However, Terry suggested that the main reason to table any action is because the signage for delivery truck routes in the are still relatively new, and other city projects deserve needed staff attention.
“We’ve spent a year and a half modifying the signing — I think we need to give it a chance to work, and give our police department a chance to enforce it.”
While no motion was put on the agenda and no official action was taken, this is an issue that could rear its head in the near future.