Friday, December 03, 1999

Truck ban lifting is called risky

Officers predict I-71/75 trouble

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Northern Kentucky law enforcers patrolling Interstate 71/75 said Thursday that lifting a nearly 2-year-old truck ban will lead to more wrecks, traffic jams and dangerous driving conditions.

        Some officers said they wouldn't mind if the ban, officially lifted Wednesday, remained in place.

        Fort Mitchell Police Chief Steve Hensley said peril sometimes arises when trucks and cars mix in traffic. For example, he said, some drivers are known to zoom ahead of 18-wheelers and then slam on their brakes because of what looms before them.

        “Obviously, trucks won't stop on a dime,” Chief Hensley said. “If it was up to me, I would much rather keep the ban in place.

        “But we anticipated that ... it was just going to be a temporary thing. It'll be much better than when the S-curve was still present.”

        Kentucky transportation officials lifted the ban a few weeks after completion of the S-curve project in Fort Mitchell. That $21.7 million effort tempered the road angle at the Dixie Highway interchange and reconfigured it from a cloverleaf to diamond shape.

        The project, along with the Fort Washington Way project in Cincinnati and the redecking of the Brent Spence Bridge, were the reasons behind the truck ban that began April 1, 1998.

        Truck drivers have had to use the Interstate 275 loop unless they were making local deliveries or were operating recreational vehicles. Law enforcers have pulled over trucks using I-71/75 and cited those without proof that they had local stops within the I-275 loop.

        Now, “putting more trucks in that area will do nothing but increase wrecks in the area,” said Covington Police Lt. Col. Bill Dorsey, who thinks truckers have a tendency to see I-71/75 as a good stretch of highway “and perhaps they go faster than they should.”

        Early Tuesday, while the ban was still in place, a northbound truck jackknifed on I-71/75 in Covington. The driver was cited for not having proof that he was exempt from the ban. The wreck forced northbound drivers into one northbound traffic lane for nearly 12 hours.

        Kenton County Police Capt. Ed Butler isn't sure what to think of the ban's end or whether driving will become more precarious now that more trucks will be on the highway.

        “Either way, we'll do our best to make it safe,” he said. “I can only, again, defer to the wisdom of the folks in Frankfort who lifted the ban. If they've determined that it's safe ... ”


Two ways Council can make us proud
Inmate who killed girlfriend ineligible for furlough
KKK won't have cross on square
Cathedral cleanup takes more time, money
Mrs. Clinton's hour-long visit nets $75,000
Transplants firmly rooted
Witness: Officer was asleep at the wheel
Web site answers Hanukkah questions
Outpouring saves children's charity
Airport vigilant for lapses in security
Jury backs school officials in pot case
Mercy Fairfield to build open-heart surgery unit
- Truck ban lifting is called risky
Schott movie coming to cable
Teacher union head runs for Ohio post
Holiday TV schedule
Hugs for healing
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
'Witness to Hope' explains life of Pope John Paul II
Woman faces Internet porn charges
Boone, 2 deputies settle suit in death
Cops getting new computer partners
Egg producer sued by Ohio EPA
FBI salutes effort in neighborhood
Lakota to survey adults on job schools are doing
Lessons focus on understanding
Mistrial in Hamilton slaying
Museum puts off expansion
Ohio Democrats may forgo Senate endorsement
Phone poll asks about city schools and services
Rancor over utility's expansion
Sixth-grader makes mark on Christmas card
Springfield Twp. winter fest returns
Tavern owner sues county to prove her vote