Truck traffic through town has a number of issues and it varies seasonally as well as from year to year. But what can we do?
Complaints about excessive speed, and not stopping at the stop sign are common. These are really police matters and there is not much we can do, but they are issues nevertheless. Catching the name on the truck and calling the appropriate company has worked in the past and is probably the easiest, most effective, and cheapest solution.
The amount of dust kicked up by big trucks is another issue, but that seems to be out of our control. For a while it was coal trucks every half hour. That will vary from year to year depending on whether the mine is operational or not. Being managed by a single company who will wish to be on good terms with the community, there is at least some possibility of resolution.
Seasonally, we have logging trucks. These are more of a problem because of the number of companies involved. They also seem to have a small proportion of drivers who will race through town. One notable thing about the logging trucks is the use of engine brakes. It appears they particularly like to use them when deadheading – despite the easy grade. In all fairness though, I should say that I have noticed other trucks using engine brakes as well – notably a couple of local ones. What is interesting is that the coal truck drivers, who carry some pretty heavy loads, claim they have no need for them.
Several people have been asking for improvements and in particular suggested that a “no jake brake” sign could be put on the highway. One Coalmontian took it upon herself to make a difference in our community regarding these problems. Diane Sterne tells me that “Since nothing had been happening with either that or the rock overhanging the road, I contacted Shirley Bond, Minister of Transportation. I sent her photos of the rock and asked for it to come down . . . and the need for engine brake signs. She wrote back to say the rock was going to be taken down (which it has) and the signs would go up.”
So, thanks to Diane Sterne, Coalmont has finally gotten signs which urge truckers to please mind that this is a residential area and to avoid the use of engine brakes. There are signs at both ends of town and they also say “excessive noise prohibited”. Although heeding them is probably not a strict legal requirement, hopefully the signs will make some drivers think twice about making a lot of noise. At least now they know our wishes. §