The Bluffdale City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that will prohibit heavy trucks from traveling on residential streets through the city.
A large deposit of rocks on the south side of Bluffdale is at the heart of the issue. Big trucks reportedly drive through the city on residential roads to get to the deposit. The rocks are loaded up and driven back through the city to their purchaser.
Stephen Homer, the city attorney, said the trucks driving through the city pose a safety threat to residents and their children. Homer also said the city is worried that these large trucks, loaded down with thousands of pounds of rocks, are causing wear and tear on roads built for residential use.
The ordinance will restrict use of residential roads to vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds. An exception was written into the ordinance for vehicles that are used by local residents. Those vehicles will be allowed to be driven to the owner's home and parked off the street. Exceptions were also included for government, military and public-utility vehicles.
Prohibited vehicles will be allowed to use specified truck routes. These routes include Redwood Road, 14600 South, Bangerter Highway, Heritagecrest Boulevard and Pony Express Road.
Councilman Rod Flanigan voted against the ordinance, saying it did not provide enough detail. "If we are going to look at the issue, we need to look at the whole issue," Flanigan said.
However, he said he would have voted in favor of the ordinance if it had been written differently. Flanigan said the ordinance needed more details written into it.
If the exception for residents driving their vehicles to their homes was rewritten to only allow residents to drive their unloaded large vehicles to their home, Flanigan said he would have been more willing to pass the ordinance. As written, it allows any large vehicles, loaded or unloaded, to drive through residential areas to park on the owner's property, wearing down the roads with heavy loads.
"These trucks weigh more than what the residential public roads are meant to handle," Homer said.
Signs will be posted to warn drivers of large trucks of the ordinance change. There also will be a short time period where violators of the ordinance will be warned of the change before fines will be imposed.Vehicles violating the ordinance will be subject to a fine. Fines range from $50 to $3,500, with the average fine expected to be $750.