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Joplin Truck Route Concerns

A truck route in a Joplin neighborhood is raising concerns for local residents.
JOPLIN, MO.--- A truck route in a Joplin neighborhood is raising concerns for local residents. It's a small roadway and there's already not a lot of space for cars. Since Buchannan is closed now, North Florida Avenue has become the main truck route and families are worried about kids playing in the front yard, and even the elderly crossing the street to get their mail. 

"We have children being watch throughout the day that parents drop off. There's no other way for them, they have to back into the road. With a truck, it's going to be a lot tougher to stop especially the way this road slopes, and it's just not safe," said David Ott, Joplin Resident. 

David Ott is a resident who lives on North Florida Avenue. He says there's at least 20 to 40 trucks a day that will drive through the small residential area.

"When they were going to do the Zora extension over there, as I recall it, it was to funnel all truck traffic and all traffic. That's why it was so wide and goes all the way across. We just want it to be safe around here and hopefully it doesn't happen because somebody got hurt or killed," said Ott. 

Joplin's City Engineer Dave Hunt says vehicle congestion is something they monitor all year long. 

"Traffic is one of those things that is a continually changing piece that we evaluate on a regular basis," said Dave Hunt, City of Joplin Transportation Engineer. 

He says they use national tests to evaluate and determine street decisions within the city. 

"We'll take vehicular speeds, traffic counts, crash history, roadway geometry put those to a major excel and see what the recommended action would be for those roads," said Hunt. 

For residents living on North Florida Avenue, the recent closure of Buchanan just south of North Florida Avenue needs to be reexamined. Ott says many of the homeowners have to cross the street to get their mail.  

"With a vehicle, a car, you can have better control but when you're coming down this hill and it happens to be on this side and you try stopping, a truck that's fully loaded it's not going to be real fast," said Ott. 

Hunt tells us, city workers rely heavily on citizens input and are always open to suggestions.

"Let us know what's going on in the neighborhood so we can go out and take a look," said Hunt. 

The new truck route was created in June of 2013.

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