The Tonawanda Town Board voted Monday to ban trucks from a section of Vulcan Street after residents complained that the heavy, noisy vehicles had ruined their neighborhood.
The Town Board changed the town's traffic law to ban truck traffic on Vulcan between Niagara Street and Tonawanda Street.
Trucks will be allowed on Vulcan, which is the town's border with Buffalo, between Tonawanda Street and Kenmore Avenue.
Vulcan Street is the southern edge of the Old Town neighborhood, a pocket of residential homes bordered on three sides by the Niagara Thruway, General Motors' Chevrolet engine plant and an American Axle plant.
Residents urged the Town Board to ban trucks on Vulcan between Niagara and Tonawanda streets, saying the road has become a main route for trucks that exit the Thruway at Vulcan and head east to Kenmore Avenue.
The residents who spoke during a public hearing Monday said the trucks cause pollution, diminish their homes' resale value and are a threat to their children's safety.
Tractor-trailers, triple-axle garbage trucks and fuel tankers rumble down Vulcan, rattling and shaking 90-year-old homes, said Cindy Adams, a Vulcan resident.
"In short, the trucks have all but destroyed the quality of our lives," she said.
Gordon Zahm, a Huetter Avenue resident, said Vulcan and nearby streets are in poor condition.
"It's the heavy truck traffic that's causing the problem," he said.
Joseph Kedron of Niagara Street noted that the City of Buffalo had pumped $4 million into improving Riverside Park, which is on the Buffalo side of Vulcan.
He said rerouting truck traffic would ehance neighbors' enjoyment of the park and said the town in the future should bar trucks from all of Vulcan.
Some residents said truck traffic on Vulcan Street would only get worse as construction proceeds on a massive, $500 million expansion of the GM plant.
Once that expansion is completed, most trucks heading to the GM plant will use Kenmore Avenue.
No one from GM spoke at the public hearing.
Town Clerk Cal Champlin said 122 residents signed petitions in favor of the traffic-law change, and 72 residents signed form letters also stating their support for the change.
Maria Lehman, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Public Works, said in a letter to the town that the proposed change would not harm traffic flow to the GM plant.