A former mayor is working with the town to cut the number of tractor-trailers traveling on Knightdale Boulevard with his efforts to make the road a local-truck route only.
Billy Wilder told the Town Council at a meeting last month that he noticed an increase in the number of tractor-trailers on Knightdale Boulevard, or Business U.S. 64, about a year ago. He said he’s counted as many as 18 of the trucks driving down Knightdale Boulevard in a 30-minute span during the afternoon rush hour and 29 in an hour.
Wilder said he knows from talking with truck dispatchers that GPS often routes trucks down Knightdale Boulevard rather than the U.S. 264 bypass because it covers fewer miles, even though, timewise, it’s the longer route. And drivers get bonuses for cutting down on mileage, he said.
“It’s kind of ironic,” Wilder said in an interview. “We worked so hard to get the trucks out of town with the bypass, and now they’re coming straight through the heart of town.”
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Wilder has contacted town attorney Clyde Holt about the matter and Holt has contacted the N.C. Department of Transportation about designating the route for local trucks only. “That would put those trucks back on the bypass, where they ought to be,” Wilder said.
“They would be warned by signage,” Holt said of through trucks, “that they should not be on this route but on a through route.”
But the town doesn’t want to cut off access to trucks that are making stops along the route, Holt said, which a local route would allow for.
“Hopefully they will support our efforts,” Holt said of the DOT. Then the Town Council could consider its options.
Most of the trucks are adding nothing to the local economy, Wilder told the council, only passing through and adding to congestion on the highway and wear and tear on the roadway.
“I think it would make life better for our business community,” Wilder said. “I think it would make life much better for our local citizens who are driving on Knightdale Boulevard.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826