Residents living along Route 5 in Hamburg have long complained about 18-wheelers shaking down the highway, rattling their houses and almost rolling them out of bed.
Now they're witnessing something else that's becoming more common, but they're not complaining: trucks are being pulled off Route 5 (Lakeshore Road) for inspections.
Last week the state Department of Transportation and Hamburg Police inspected 29 vehicles. The trucks were taken from Route 5 to Brierwood Square on Southwestern Boulevard and Rogers Road for the inspections.
"The purpose is for safety," Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak said. "Many residents in that area have been complaining about the increase of truck traffic. The goal is to decrease the truck traffic that's out there right now."
Part of the town's strategy to improve safety for the more than 200 families living along Route 5 calls for frequent, unannounced truck inspection stations and greater enforcement of the 40 mph speed limit by police. The town hopes the measures will help coax truck traffic back to Southwestern Boulevard or the Thruway.
Town officials believe some trucks take Route 5 to avoid paying tolls on the Thruway. A truck inspection is one way to get unsafe trucks off the road, and last Wednesday three vehicles were taken out of service.
The inspection found 79 violations, and yielded 26 summonses. Twenty trucks were temporarily put out of service, two for log book violations, 14 for equipment violations and four for unsecured loads. All but three managed to correct the deficiencies by Wednesday afternoon to get on the road again.
According to a recent state count, nearly 22,000 vehicles travel the stretch of Route 5 from Athol Springs to Old Lakeshore Road every day. Commercial vehicles made up 660 of the vehicles and more than 200 are five-axle semi-trucks.