Northglenn considers heavy truck zone

40-ton trailers would need permits, stick to certain streets under city proposal

Scott Taylor
staylor@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/16/20

A plan to limit the heaviest delivery trucks to a few of Northglenn’s busier streets left City Councilors skeptical but willing to give it a try. “I appreciate what you’ve done, I’m just not …

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Northglenn considers heavy truck zone

40-ton trailers would need permits, stick to certain streets under city proposal

Posted

A plan to limit the heaviest delivery trucks to a few of Northglenn’s busier streets left City Councilors skeptical but willing to give it a try.

“I appreciate what you’ve done, I’m just not sure it’s the right approach right now,” Councilor Jenny Willford said.

Councilors discussed a plan to cut down on heavy truck traffic in the city, limiting trucks weighing 40 tons or more to a handful of arterial routes — portions of 120th, 112th and 104th avenues and portions of Huron, Grant and Washington streets and Malley and Irma drives.

The city can’t simply ban heavy trucks because local businesses depend on them for supplies, said Public Works Director Kent Kisselman. The current proposal is the result of a study of Northglenn truck traffic the city kicked off in 2019.

“The recommendations from the report were to update signage in the residential areas so that it’s consistent, designate a heavy truck route with appropriate signage, create a permit process and finally have the Police Department enforce the recommendations,” Kisselman said.

City Manager Heather Geyer said she regularly fields complaints from residents about heavy truck traffic. Municipal code does allow trucks up to 80 tons to use city streets, with informal permits available to heavier vehicles. The city does not specially ban them from any area and does not have a designated route for those vehicles to use.

“Right now, we have an inconsistent process and having an inconsistent process doesn’t help us,” Geyer said. “For the questions I get, we don’t have a good response as to why we don’t enforce and why it’s not enforceable. So that’s a key element of bringing forward an updated ordinance, to give us something that’s enforceable.”

Buses, plows, ambulances fine

The proposed restrictions would apply to the heaviest tractor trailers, weighing it in at 40 tons gross vehicle weight or more. That would allow lighter vehicles access to parts of the city and neighborhoods when they need to be there. That includes loaded 36 ton dump trucks, 28 ton snow plows, 19 to 30 ton fire trucks and buses, ambulances and standard box trucks and delivery vehicles — all weighing in at less than 20 tons.

The plan could add 55 signs at residential streets along the heavy truck route, saying that the big trucks are not allowed to use them.

Complaints

Councilors agreed to pursue the plan, saying it was a step in the right direction. It won’t make all residents happy, especially if they live along one of the heavy truck routes.

“So who gets the phone calls?“ Mayor Meredith Leighty said. “I’m telling you, this is not going to make residents happy.”

Councilor Julie Duran Mullica asked if it was a necessary change.

“My question to staff would be, if the complaints are not going to stop what is the benefit of implementing this process and all this permitting and enforcement and everything if it’s not going to not going to prevent truck traffic on those roads?“ she said.

Kisselman said Washington Street is one of the few roads that runs the length of the city.

“There are several businesses along that corridor that, if you restricted semi-trailers they just would not get their product,” Kisselman said.

The streets that would be designated for heavy truck traffic are designed to withstand that kind of heavy traffic, he said.

“Having these designated routes and the ability to enforce it and pull trucks over and cite them when they are not on the designated route or didn’t have a proper permit helps us dictate where truck traffic should go,” Kisselman said. “That lets us control it.”

Geyer said it may not solve all the complaints but it’s a step in the correct direction. Councilor Becky Brown said she’d give the idea the benefit of the doubt.

“We need to make stand somewhere,” Brown said. “I don’t feel like we’ve addressed all the major complaints, but I can go with it. It’s cool by me.”

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