The city may have come up with a traffic sign that warns big-rig drivers not to enter business driveways.
The signs would be built in Pacific and businesses can purchase and place them near their parking lot entrances.
Alderman Mike Pigg has been asking for months for an official looking city traffic sign to discourage tractor-trailers from pulling into his Pigg’s Pet’s parking lot on West Osage.
Over-the-road truck drivers routinely find themselves going in the wrong direction on Osage as they try to return to Interstate 44 after stopping for fuel and turn into any available parking lot to make a U-turn.
Pigg said his lot is used for U-turns several times a day and the heavy trucks damage the curb, sidewalk and asphalt. He said other businesses, such as Subway and Wolf Hardware, face the same problem.
Hardee’s also was mentioned as a place where semi drivers use the parking lot for U-turns, but the fast-food chain asked officials not to interfere with truckers on their parking lot, saying they might be there to park and come inside for a hamburger.
The other three businesses, Pigg’s Pets, Subway and Wolf Hardware, have put up handcrafted signs trying to dissuade truckers, but Pigg wanted signs that were more uniform and looked official.
In extensive discussions in several board of aldermen meetings, the issue bogged down over how to enforce the signs, noting that police could not write a ticket unless they witness the violation. But Pigg said he would sign a complaint identifying the truck and would appear in court to press his claim.
“This isn’t going to stop until people get a ticket,” Pigg said.
The outspoken pet-store owner also noted that the right sign might dissuade some truckers from pulling onto business lots and no one would get a ticket.
“We just need to stop from getting our curbs and sidewalks torn up,” Pigg said.
City Administrator Harold Selby said he thinks he has come up with a sign that meets all the criteria.
Speaking at the Jan. 21 board of aldermen meeting, Selby said the city planned to ask Sign Experts, located at 2044 Rose Lane, to build the signs based on a design presented by Assistant Police Chief Captain Larry Cook.
“Captain Cook went to other communities where trucks were getting off the interstate and going into parking lots,” Selby said. “He came up with a sign that is being used there.”
Cook, who lives in Barnhart, said he recently pulled into the grocery store lot near his home and noticed a sign that said “No Trucks.”
“I thought, this is what they’ve been talking about in the board meetings,” Cook said.
The signs are 18 by 24 inches, metal, painted white with red lettering and are affixed to the back of a stop sign at 6 feet high.
“They look official, like a lot of road and traffic signs that you see,” Cook said. “I thought they’d work.”
Sign Experts will build the signs and local businesses can buy the signs if they want to install them, Selby said.
“This is pretty much exactly what I asked for,” Pigg said. “Just having a sign that looks like an official city traffic sign will probably keep some truck drivers from pulling onto the parking lot.”