Optimism with truck ban on Young Street in Tonawanda

Rad's Fine Automotive among those voicing support for ban

Mike Baggerman
March 14, 2019 - 10:10 pm

Cheryl Ward (left) and Cindi Barraclough (right) stand in front of the Young Street bridge, where more than 50 trucks became stuck over the last several years, including three in the last three weeks. March 14, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WBEN) – Thursday morning’s announcement by City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis that trucks are banned on Young Street between Fillmore Street and Twin Cities Highway was thrilling news for business owners and neighbors who have dealt with trucks hitting the CSX overpass for years.

“I’m very happy about that news,” Cheryl Ward, who owns Rad’s Fine Automotive on Young Street immediately next to the bridge, said. “Very, very happy about that news. But I’m concerned about how they’re going to enforce it from coming down here.”

For the past two decades, Ward dealt with the more than 50 instances of semis and box-trucks that ran into the CSX overpass which has a clearance of 11-feet, 6-inches. Her security cameras outside her business always catch the moment a semi gets stuck or clips the overpass.

“When a truck hits that bridge, you think you’re going to have a heart-attack,” she explained. “It is so loud. It’s obnoxious. Then if you get those shipping containers…those are all metal. That’s what hit a couple of weeks ago. Those are the ones that fire me up and get me crazy because you know they have to do be doing some damage. It’s metal on metal.”

When we caught up with Ward, she was also chatting with Cindi Barraclough, who lives on the corner of Elm and Killewald near Young Street. Whenever a truck crashes into the bridge, traffic is ultimately diverted around her home.

“It’s very dangerous,” Barraclough explained. “It’s hard for school kids to get off the bus. It’s a mess. If the trucks don’t hit the bridge, they go around. They can’t fit around there either but they try. I’ve had a truck go through my driveway. I’ve had a truck bashed into my tree. I’ve had them pull wires off my house along with the siding. They’ve taken down the telephone pole. They’ve taken down the street sign.”

Sometimes, her house even shakes when a truck gets stuck.

City of Tonawanda Police will enforce the truck ban along Young Street, according to Davis.

Like Ward, Barraclough was thrilled to hear the news about the ban and hopes that it will help curb the issue, though she realizes that police can’t stay there forever.

“They’re trying,” she said.

Trucks still tried to go under the bridge on Thursday despite the ban. Ward sent these videos to us:

Tonawanda will hold a meeting and discuss Young Street traffic on March 25. Both Ward and Barraclough plan to attend.

“At this point, I still plan on going because I want to see exactly what they’re going to do to enforce this,” Ward said. “If I don’t have to go to complain, I’ll thank them.”

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