DIXON – The mayor is looking to ban nonessential semitrailer traffic off of River Road, saying it is a public safety concern and because of increased wear and tear on the road.
Dixon Mayor Li Arellano Jr. recently discussed drafting an ordinance banning the semi traffic, especially with the city being more pedestrian-friendly in that area with walking paths and potential future businesses that would drive foot traffic.
He said it takes much longer for a semi to stop on the road, and he’s seen near-misses over the years.
It’s also the city’s responsibility to maintain the road, and semis eat away at street conditions much faster than regular cars, he said
“From both the safety point of view, a cost and maintenance point of view, and the long-term vision of the city down there, I think it’s time to move forward on banning non-necessary semi traffic off of them,” Arellano said.
Semi traffic would be expected to travel on South Galena Avenue and take Second Street getting to or from state Route 2, which splits into East River Road and East Second Street.
Councilman Chris Bishop said he would be worried about the traffic flow if they banned semis from River Road. Semis take wide turns from Second Street to South Galena Avenue, and there’s the concern of jamming up traffic on Galena, he said.
“I’m just saying we need to really think about that before we make that change,” Bishop said.
Dixon Street Manager Jim Canterbury said he thinks the reasons for removing the traffic on River Road are sound, but it could create a problem by having more semis needing to make the left turn on Second Street, which is at an incline.
“I am concerned about the traffic coming up the hill having to turn left going to the east because that’s going to create a bottleneck there for sure,” he said.
The turn there is a notable problem, but state officials have said it would be difficult to put an expanded turn lane at the intersection, Arellano said.
Because of the incline, it’s tough to see and there aren’t good angles of approach, he said.
Galena Avenue, or state Route 26, is the responsibility of the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation has an agreement with the city to maintain the road, but big changes and repairs are up to the state.
The plan is to work with IDOT on any traffic flow concerns and present an ordinance to the Dixon City Council, he said.