On Friday, Feb. 26, the North Wilkesboro Board of Commissioners approved additions to the town code that prohibit heavy trucks from traversing certain in-town streets. The vote came at the conclusion of a virtual public hearing started on Thursday, Feb. 25, and carried over into Feb. 26 in compliance with state law.
According to a press release issued by the town on Monday, the newly amended ordinance prohibits commercial trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 19,501 pounds and above from using town streets known as the “grid” except to reach or return from a destination on those streets. The new rules were established after a growing number of town residents complained of heavy trucks using grid streets as cut-throughs.
The town's police department subsequently observed heavy trucks exceeding posted speed limits, running stop signs and impinging on the residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes.
“The North Wilkesboro Police Department has recognized the need for this new ordinance due to multiple complaints from the residents who live on the local streets within the town,” said Interim Chief Rob Thornburg in the press release.
“Once the ordinance becomes enforceable, North Wilkesboro officers will begin by educating violators of the new ordinance for the first few weeks. Repeat offenders will be issued a citation for violating the heavy truck ordinance. Violation of this ordinance will be considered a misdemeanor, and the violator will receive a citation that consists of a $50 fine plus court cost. We encourage all commercial trucks to use the proper truck routes within the town.”
The ordinance text approved by the board will become part of the town code immediately, but the ordinance cannot be enforced until signs are installed at various entrance points to the grid. Town crews will begin installation of those signs this spring.
The text of the new ordinance is included below:
Chapter 11, Article IX, Commercial truck travel in the Town of North Wilkesboro
11.98 Trucks required to follow routes
(a) All trucks entering the town destined to any point outside of the town and not taking on or discharging any goods, wares, or merchandise within the town limits shall travel exclusively on designated and marked state highways/routes, and over the part of the state highways/routes as shall constitute the shortest and most direct route from the point of entrance into the town and departure from the town.
(b) For the purposes of this ordinance, the term “truck” shall mean any apparatus or combination therefore, that weighs in excess 19,501 lbs. This corresponds with trucks classified as Class 6 and above in the FHWA vehicle weight classification scale.
11.99 Trucks prohibited on town streets
(a) All trucks are prohibited from traveling on town streets, except for those that are part of designated and marked state highways truck; provided that, trucks may travel on non-permitted streets to reach or to return from a destination upon a street; provided that, the following designated trucks shall be permitted to travel upon streets not approved as state highways when said highway is not available:
(1) Fuel delivery trucks going to and from a specific destination for the sole purpose of delivering fuel and/or tanks;
(2) Parcel and freight delivery trucks with bills of lading with a specific destination within an otherwise prohibited area, for the sole purpose of delivering parcels and/or freight;
(3) Moving vans that are hired to move household furniture to/from a particular location; and/or from a particular location
(4) Trucks granted a permit by the State Department of Transportation to move structures to and from a particular location.
(5) Trucks owned and operated by division of Town, County, and State government while in performance of their official duties.
(b) In order to qualify for the exceptions 1-4 set out above, the driver shall have in his/her immediate possession a bill of lading, permit, or other explanatory document which shall designate the destination or recipient, and cargo intended for delivery
11.100 Routes to be marked
The Superintendent of Streets shall cause to be erected and maintained, at points where through truck routes enter the town and at all junction points and turns where necessary, signs of the dimensions and at locations as shall be approved by him or her, directing truck traffic in accordance with the provisions of the chapter.
11.101 Ordinance penalties
Violations of this ordinance as considered a Misdemeanor, and subject to a $50 fine. Each instance of violation constitutes a separate offense.