Large Truck Ban in Thomasville

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Truck drivers traveling through downtown Thomasville may soon have to find another route. The city is making moves to ban the big rigs from a major thoroughfare.

Around noon downtown Thomasville is usually bumper to bumper with traffic. Adding to the congestion are big rigs that chose not to use the truck route.

John Wood, Thomasville's city engineer, says, "We realize trucks are an important part to the economy. They transfer goods and materials, but we are trying to maintain our historic downtown. This is what we're talking about, he's a big fella, here's another one."

Aaron Martin, a Thomasville motorist, says, "I think the streets are kind of small, so it might be good to ban them through this area."

Lou Gutsch, also a motorist, adds, "The fumes, noise and space they take up, it's not appropriate for downtown."

For years the city has tried to ban 18-wheelers from traveling through downtown, but the problem is that Jackson Street is owned by the Department of Transportation.

Wood says, "We've determined that with DOT's help, if the city of Thomasville assumed the maintenance and ownership of the route through Thomasville, then we have the right to control traffic on it."

Wood says truckers who have deliveries downtown are welcome, otherwise truckers will be required to use the truck route.

Wood says, "We recognize they need to make a living, we realize the economy needs trucks.”

But the city encourages them to find a route that doesn't put them right in the heart of downtown Thomasville.

The city is working to widen the truck route, after which Jackson Street will be turned over to the city and officials can then ban the trucks. The city engineer says the process will take about six months.