Mount Airy officials are scheduled to continue a discussion of downtown traffic issues Thursday, which drew numerous speakers during a recent public hearing.
And while action is expected during the 2 p.m. meeting at the Municipal Building, merchants and delivery truck drivers shouldn’t expect any crackdowns to come their way Thursday, according to one council member.
That has loomed as a possibility in light of recent concerns among city officials about a longtime practice of drivers being allowed to park trucks in lanes of traffic along North Main Street while making deliveries.
New rules to restrict deliveries to certain times of the day or to designated zones have been eyed to alleviate safety hazards from oncoming traffic having to veer around parked trucks that also obscure pedestrians from view.
But merchants fear restricting trucks downtown might hamper deliveries, while drivers say they would pose scheduling and other hardships to them.
In the wake of a well-attended Oct. 18 public hearing in which proposed regulations were roundly blasted, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners is not expected to consider any of these Thursday afternoon.
“There won’t be anything done” along those lines, Commissioner Scott Graham said of what he anticipates will take place at this week’s meeting.
“I think what we’re going to do is form a group, I’m not sure,” Graham added Tuesday.
The new group would contain representation from the board of commissioners as well as two organizations with a stake in the central business district, Downtown Mount Airy Inc. and the Downtown Business Association.
This apparently sprang from a suggestion made during the Oct. 18 meeting by Gene Rees, a longtime downtown businessman. Rees said the issue of trucks parking downtown should be part of a larger examination of parking and related concerns there, including a frequently cited need for handicapped accessibility.
Based on Graham’s expectation, the downtown delivery problem will be considered within this larger framework by the group that will “just try to resolve it and see what the best course of action is.”
Such a group would come on the heels of others being formed recently, including a recycling advisory committee, a committee on sports facilities and another to explore Mount Airy’s seeking of retirement community status.
Additional Agenda Items
Also at Thursday afternoon’s meeting, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners will:
• Discuss the possible re-submission of an application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to aid the Edgewood Place apartment project. Construction is planned to begin on the 56-unit complex around the first of next year, and being awarded $250,000 in CDBG money would mean lower rent costs for occupants. Those funds would be used for infrastructure needs such as streets, sewer lines and sidewalks for the $7.4 million facility.
• Consider the setting of a public hearing regarding the proposed rezoning of property at 250 Old Ridge Road.
• Hear a presentation about and possibly act on a proposal involving nutrient-management requirements at the municipal wastewater-treatment plant.
• Give special recognition to Hutchens Cleaners & Laundry.
• Hold a closed session to discuss economic development.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.