Residents of Robinson and Wheatfield streets, busy east-west crosstown routes in North Tonawanda, cheered news Wednesday night that the city has dropped any plan to designate either of the streets as official truck routes.
"It's dead," said Common Council President Paul P. Reidenouer of the proposal at a community meeting at the Sweeney Hose Fire Hall.
Reidenouer also announced a crackdown on truckers who use city streets as shortcuts to and from outside communities -- pickups or deliveries originating or destined for points outside of North Tonawanda.
Reidenouer directed Assistant City Attorney Edward A. Zebulske III to draw up a new city ordinance regulating truck traffic, for consideration at Tuesday's Common Council meeting.
The Council president said the city ordinance barring outside trucks from using the city as a pass through will be strictly enforced by city police.
Commonly heard complaints, for example are that Niagara Falls destined trucks use the Twin City Memorial Highway to Robinson or Wheatfield, then turn west across town to River Road, and north again to the Falls.
Gerald Doucette, chairman of the city Traffic Safety Committee, said truckers not destined for North Tonawanda should use state-designated truck routes bypassing the city.
Police Captain John D. Dierdorf said the current penalty for violation of the city trucking ordinance is a fine of $10 to $50.
The ordinance does not bar trucks from city streets but does require using a direct route to the place or point nearest their destination in the city, before turning onto any side streets.
Residents of Robinson and Wheatfield have been complaining for a number of years about the effects of heavy truck traffic in front of their homes -- loss of sleep from noise and fuel odors of around-the-clock traffic, cracked house foundations caused by the pounding of traffic, and the threat to the safety of their children.
One North Tonawanda company that has pledged its cooperation in helping solve the problem, Reidenouer said is the St. Laurent Packaging Corp. on Robinson Street.