April 18, 2019

An end to local truck cut-throughs

Selectboard changes ordinance to keep big rigs off local roads

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

The Williston Selectboard made it illegal for trucks to travel on four town roads with a traffic ordinance amendment July 24.

The amendment restricts trucks of over 24,000 pounds from North Brownell Road, Walker Hill Road, River Cove Road, Butternut Road and a section of South Brownell Road from the St. George town line to a gravel pit operated by S.D. Ireland Corporation located alongside Interstate 89.

The roads have historically been used as cut-throughs for truck traffic going north and south through town on state routes 2A and 116.

“We are trying to keep truck travel off these roads and keep it on the main state roads,” said Assistant to the Town Manager Erik Wells.

During a public hearing last month, residents of South Brownell and Butternut roads endorsed the change.

“We have a lot of kids (on the street),” Butternut Road resident Pete Judge said. “They play in the road every day, and in winter conditions, when it’s icy, no one can stop.”

Judge also advocated for the speed limit on Butternut Road to be reduced from its current 35 mph.

“Trucks are in a hurry,” he said, “and they are using it as a shortcut.”

Talbert Hill, a lifelong resident of South Brownell Road, said even trucks less than 24,000 pounds should be restricted from the road — unless they have specific deliveries or pickups at businesses on the road.

“The truck traffic on South Brownell is horrendous,” he said. “I think it should be no trucks at all.”

The ordinance amendment also updates the inventory of existing stop and yield signs, as well as traffic lights, to create the ability to enforce violations —and collect fines — locally, instead of under state statute.

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