April 24, 2013
Officials in the town of Stanardsville are trying to ban some big trucks from driving along Main Street. They say the tractor trailers are a nuisance and they put people in danger.
The Greene County Board of Supervisors plans to discuss the issue on May 28. Getting the trucks off Main Street is just one step in a much bigger plan to revitalize downtown Stanardsville.
A study from the Virginia Department of Transportation found that, of the 2,400 vehicles that travel on Main Street each day, an average of 117 of them are large trucks. Roy Dye, the president of Stanardsville Area Revitalization, or STAR, says the trucks are disturbing people all over town.
"It's 24 hours a day," said Dye. "We hear from folks who live in the town that they're awakened in the middle of the night because of these trucks."
Alan Pyles owns the Lafayette Inn and Restaurant on Main Street. He says the trucks take away from the atmosphere.
"When they change gears," said Pyles, "the diesel comes out. We all want a clean city and clean town and the diesel smoke right on top of the buildings makes it difficult."
Pyles says the trucks are trying to save time by taking Main Street to Route 230. But he says VDOT built the Route 33 Bypass to prevent trucks from doing just that.
"We have a bypass that's been paid for," said Pyles. "We need to see that they use it so that the benefits of the Bypass are going, and the quaintness of the small town can be achieved."
Town officials are hoping that if they keep the trucks away, it will encourage more people to use the sidewalks on Main Street to visit local businesses. But the sidewalks are overdue for repairs. STAR has been working for years to get funding to replace the sidewalks and add crosswalks.
Dye expects to hear this week from VDOT if the town can start reaching out to contractors to get bids for the work.
"It will be a complete facelift to the town," said Dye. "It will include landscaping throughout, new sidewalks, nice new crosswalks."
The town hopes to start the revitalization work in the summer, if VDOT gives the approval.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board will have the ultimate say about whether the town can ban tractor trailers from Main Street.