PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Rumbling in the neighborhood

Posted by ppna on January 28, 2008

I received this from a ppna neighbor:

 “I don’t know how close to Prospect Road you are, but I was wondering if you’ve
noticed/heard anything about truck traffic up and down Prospect. It seems like
this winter there are tons more trucks, and much heavier trucks, than I ever
remember, to the extent that my house  shakes violently
several times a day. (I say this having become pretty acclimated and able to
ignore to the teeth-shaking bass on car stereos.) I’m pretty sure that I saw a
double-length trailer this afternoon.
I’m out of touch with the Neighborhood Association, but it seems like an issue
that they/we might want to discuss. I called Ypsi Public Works, who was pretty
uninterested (though, as I pointed out, they have to fill the craters these trucks are making) and told
me to call the police. The police said they had gotten three calls about trucks
today, but their impression was that it was about reckless trucks involved in
construction at Walgreeen’s.
Anyway, I’m not sure what a community could do, but this has certainly meant an
erosion in quality of life at my house, and probably for those in the
neighborhood as well, especially those on or close to Prospect or Forest.”

I really appreciate this type of comment.  My intention for this blog was to open a discussion forum for the residents of the PPNA.  I haven’t been effected by the trucks coming down the street but I’ll try to figure out what they are doing.  I certainly know how annoying those trucks can be because 2 years ago trucks rumbled down River Street hauling dirt and spewing dust from Water Street to Highland cemetery (Dirt not good enough to live on but good enough to be buried in).    

This is a tough issue because I don’t think it falls within the framework of any of our city services.  Trucks are permitted on Prospect and those trucks are inherently loud and with development comes noise.   What I would suggest, if you can, get the name of the construction company that owns the trucks (read it off the side) and ask them what they are doing and how long they are going to keep doing it.  If any of you do find out please comment.

This is also the type of thing I like to bring to the attention of our fabulous City Council member Brian Robb (brobb at cityofypsilanti dot com) 

Hopefully we’ll get some comments about what might be done.

Thank you for your question and I look forward to more in the future

Kurt

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9 Responses to “Rumbling in the neighborhood”

  1. I suggested some time ago that we enforce weight restrictions to cut down on truck traffic. By doing so we can cut down on noise, pollution, wear and tear on our roads, and generate cash from the fines.

    Nobody at City Hall thinks it’s worth the time and effort, though.

  2. ppna said

    Trusty made a great point when he suggested that we enforce weight restrictions on truck traffic. This point was commented on extensively and you can view a secondary post with a link to the first post here.

    Another large truck issue that bothers me is the Truck Driving school that practices in the Ypsi-Football parking lot. Are they paying a fee? I’m sure that parking lot isn’t designed for large trucks and they are probably doing a lot of damage.

    Kurt

  3. Paul Schreiber said

    City council received the following information on August 22, 2007:

    Motor Vehicle Weight Enforcement Program: Council asked staff to respond to the suggestion that the City could generate substantial financial resources by implementing a Motor Vehicle Weight Enforcement program. Chief Harshberger has prepared the following information about what departments have such enforcement and what revenues are generated.

    The YPD is continuing its analysis of implementing a weigh measurement enforcement program for commercial vehicles. To date, the Police Department has been able to obtain considerable information from VanBuren Township PD, which currently utilizes four officers in a traffic services unit. Two of the four officers conduct commercial vehicle weight enforcement.

    When a vehicle is cited for being overweight, the citation is sent to court and a plea is usually made. The plea is to reduce 25% of the fine; so if the ticket is $2000, $550 is reduced, and then 70% of the $1450 is given directly to the Police Department and 30% is given to the local library.

    Van Buren Township Police Department advised that the 70/30 split is standard for Wayne County, and their district court. There is also a $140 court fee added to the overall cost of the citation, which goes directly to the state. Other than that, all citations have similar revenue.

    In 2006, the Van Buren Twp Police Department had revenue of $265,000 from 275 citations issued for overweight trucks. Also, one must keep in mind that Van Buren Twp. has two or three rubbish landfills and they advised that the majority of weight enforcement violations are committed by garbage trucks and haulers.

    With regard to Washtenaw County Courts, we have learned that there are apparently several levels of classifications for courts. The initial information obtained from our county court system indicates that we would receive approximately one-third (33%) of the total fine for weight enforcement tickets issued. If that is the case, the Ypsilanti Police Department would realize a much smaller amount of revenue than that of Van Buren Twp.

    Using the $265,000 that Van Buren Twp received for 2006, YPD would only have received less than half that amount. So, YPD would have obtained an estimated $132,500 compared to the amount Van Buren Twp totaled.

    Paul Schreiber

  4. Sounds to me like $132,500 that we don’t have right now and might be able to find some use for.

    Let’s move beyond the “framework for a plan” stage and start enforcing the laws, I say. This suggestion has been around for YEARS and nothing of value to the citizens of Ypsi has been generated to date, despite the fact that we previously sent an officer to training to learn to do the work.

  5. Paul Schreiber said

    According to Chief Harshberger, enforcement of weight restrictions would require hiring a police officer at $70,000 per year with pay and benefits. Ypsilanti would need to write more than half of the number of tickets that are written in Van Buren Township ($132,500/2 = $67,600) just to break even.

    I drive to work in Van Buren Township daily and always see haulers at the Ecorse Rd./Haggerty intersection. We don’t have enough hauler traffic in Ypsilanti to make weight enforcement a source of revenue.

    If a neighborhood is having an issue with speeders or large trucks, please call the police department at 734-483-9510.

    Paul Schreiber

  6. ppna said

    I don’t want to get too involved in this discussion as it has been widely discussed on other blogs but couldn’t the enforcement of weight restrictions be done the same way as other traffic citations? I know our police department is busy but why would you need to hire another officer?

    The initial posting of this stream stated that the neighbor did call the Police and they couldn’t help her. I agree if the trucks are in compliance there isn’t anything they could do.

    I would also like to point out that the police aren’t really responsive to the speeding issue either. I am sure it is because every street in every neighborhood has issues with speeding. It would be my guess that an officer dedicated to speed enforcement, noise enforcement and weight enforcement would pay for themselves.

    Kurt

  7. Kurt: I’m with you 100%. It would be nice to see the same type of innovation that sparked Wireless Ypsi applied to this issue, and the larger problem of ordinance enforcement.

    For now, however, this appears to be a dead end.

  8. ppna said

    Trusty,

    Perhaps we combine the two. Once we are Wireless Ypsi maybe we could hook up webcams with decibel meters or speed radar on streets and corners around the city.

  9. Appreciating this thread is old, I thought you might be interested that Wayne County wrote over $1.7 Million in tickets against trucks and collected about half in the last fiscal year. Hopefully once other challenges have been addressed, this idea could see new vitality in the form of a pilot program. Not a lot to lose, could be something there to gain.

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