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Lakewood OKs Law To Alleviate Traffic Congestion

Summit Avenue in Lakewood will have new signs regulating traffic. P-J photo by Michael Zabrodsky

LAKEWOOD — If it is not a local delivery, trucks including tractors, tractor-trailers, and tractor-semitrailers will not be allowed to use Summit and Terrace avenues.

The Lakewood Village Board on Monday uninanimously approved a local law regulating traffic on both those roads.

The village, in a statemement, said the use of highways within the village threatens the health, safety, and welfare of village residents.

“The recent trend of more tractors, tractor-tralers, and tractor-semitrailers using public highways within the village to bypass traffic on larger public highways constructed for heavy traffic is concerning to residents and the board of trustees. The tractors, tractor-trailers, tractor-semitraillers that use such highways to bypass traffic cause unnecessary noise and pollution in the village, cause unnecessary wear and damage to highways within the village not constructed for regular commercial traffic, and pose unnecessary risks of damage to persons and property within the village,” the statement said.

Trustee Ben Troche said he and other trustees have received many complaints about Summit Avenue. At a previous meeting, Troche said the village decided to pass a law “with some teeth to it.”

The law states that “no tractor, tractor-trailer, or tractor-semitrailer shall be operated on Summit Avenue or Terrace Avenue in the Village of Lakewood unless making a delivery or pickup of goods or materials in the village. Any motor vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall not be operated on Summit Avenue or Terrace Avenue in the Village of Lakewood unless making a delivery or pickup of goods or materials in the village.”

Tom Mawhinney, of 240 W. Summit Ave., thanked the board for approving the law.

“My wife and I quite frequently walk along Summit Avenue through the neighborhood. It’s pretty disconcerting to us that there is so much truck traffic that goes up and down Summit Avenue. We are in favor of having the limited use of trucks along that roadway for safety reasons. Also the loud noise that the trucks bring are a nuisance to us,” Mowhinney said.

The board also listed penalities associated with the law. A first offense has a $250 fine or a jail term of not more than 15 days or both. A second offense has a $500 fine or jail term of not more than 15 days or both. A third offense has a $1,000 fine or a jail term of not more than 15 days or both. The village may enforce the law by injunction. The village also stated that the law will be enforced by law enforcement agencies, including the Lakewood-Busti Police Department.

The whole process should take about 30 days to complete, Trustee Ellen Barnes said.

In other business the board approved two special-use permits for short-term rentals, in the village.

The first permit was granted to Colleen Hayes of 262 E. Fairmount Ave.

“It was a long-term rental that I had and I did some upgrades and turned it into a short-term rental,” Hayes said. Hayes noted it is furnished and she would be using it as an Airbnb.

The second permit was granted to Jennifer Greer of 3 W. Terrace Ave. Greer said mostly family and friends who will use the property with an ocassional short-term renter.

“I anticipate it will just be family and friends, but I don’t want to be outside of the law should we take any kind of compensation from them. … We do have a detailed set of rules that we’ve put together, and in those rules we really were very conscious of being good neighbors. … We are very respectful of the neighborhood. We do know that the house is in a business district, but there are some residences around it. It is also surrounded by short-term rentals. On three sides of the property, there are currently short-term rentals in use right now,” Greer said.

Nancy Bargar, of 11 W. Terrace Ave., said she is Greer’s neighbor and is favor of the short-term rental application.

“I have spoken with Mrs. Greer and I am comfortable with her professional application. I thought it was detailed,” Bargar told the board.

The board also approved 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for Trick-Or-Treat hours on Halloween, Oct. 31.

The board also authorized the use of village streets and Richard O. Hartley Park for the bMF (Be More Fitness) Color Run set for Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. Music is scheduled to be in the gazebo and a donation will be going to St. Susans’ Center.

Due to the Columbus Day Holiday, the next board meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 11.

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