By Scott Bolejack
email@example.com | 919-424-1776
CLAYTON — Downtown shops and restaurants will still be able to receive deliveries.
But Clayton leaders have had their fill of commercial trucks using downtown streets to get from one side of town to the other.
“Downtown’s a very dense and tight corridor,” assistant town engineer Jonathan Jacobs told the Town Council on July 18. “It’s not really designed to carry some of the vehicles that are the size that they are.”
Because of that, big rigs sometimes strike parked cars, fire hydrants and sidewalks downtown. And they often need police for traffic control as they make turns downtown.
“The conservation about large trucks started with multiple complaints and incidents occurring downtown,” Jacobs said.
In response, the Town Council last week banned through trucks on the following:
• South Fayetteville Street between U.S. 70 Business and East Main Street.
• South Moore Street between U.S. 70 Business and West Main Street.
• Barbour Street between Hamby and East Main Street.
• West Second Street between Atkinson Street and South Fayetteville Street.
• East Second Street between South Fayetteville Street and East Main Street.
• South Smith Street between U.S. 70 Business and East Main Street.
• Compton Street between U.S. 70 Business and East Main Street.
• East Front Street between Central Avenue and North O’Neil Street.
• Durham Street between U.S. 70 Business and East Main Street.
• Pinecroft Drive between Guy Road and N.C. 42 West.
South Lombard and Robertson streers aren’t on the list because they’re state-maintained roads, and Clayton can’t regulate those.
Also, the council substantially reduced the number of designated “commercial routes” through Clayton. The list is now limited to:
• U.S. 70 Business.
• U.S. 70.
• N.C. 42 East.
• N.C. 42 West.
• Shotwell Road.
• Covered Bridge Road.
• Prichard Road.
Before the change, the town allowed commercial on 30 roads and streets.
The changes won’t affect local deliveries, Jacobs said. “Restaurants downtown, businesses downtown still have to have deliveries,” he said. “If you live downtown and you’re moving or you’re having furniture delivered, those vehicles still have to be able to serve you. We can’t put you on an island.
“It’s primarily focusing on the people using downtown as a cut-through to get where they need to go.”
The town will erect signs on the affected streets, and police will employ a 30-day grace period before writing tickets, Jacobs said. Also, the town will work with Google and its directions software to steer trucks away from the restricted streets, he said.