The City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday aimed at curbing motorists from making U-turns through the grounds of private business establishments.

Several businesses complained about motorists - primarily teenage drivers cruising Main Street - using their property to make U-turns.U-turn traffic at Walker Oil Company, 295 W. Main, "completely ties business up," Police Chief John Durrant said.

"We've had near misses and minor traffic accidents related to (U-turns)," Durrant said.

Teenager drivers block car washes and gasoline pumps while making U-turns through the property, Karen Carroll, manager of Walker's, said. The sometimes constant flow of vehicles into the station has been a "real threat to people walking into the station."

"When we tell them to leave, they use very abusive language," Carroll said.

The problem was particularly bad this summer, when drivers cruised the street all week long at night.

"It's been better lately since the Police Department began ticketing for different violations," Carroll said.

The new ordinance gives the Police Department added ammunition to cut down the problem.

The new ordinance states that "no person shall drive a motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle through or across any private driveway, lot or similar area" of any business in order to make a U-turn.

Drivers who need to turn around, can do so legally in intersections.