Truck Traffic: A View Through Our Windshield
To the Editor:
As I sat reading the different opinions about the semi-truck traffic in Emmetsburg, which is mostly negative, I felt compelled to offer some things to think about. Before you throw stones, you should sit in our seat and look through our windshield for one week to see what we, as truck drivers, deal with day in and day out. Every day we see people jay-walking, darting out from between parked cars, opening car doors to get in before looking to see if any traffic is coming, cutting in front of us, the list is endless.
Truck drivers also deal with separate rules and regulations that are designed to keep us, and the other drivers we encounter, safe. Many of these rules don’t apply to those of you operating a car or pick-up therefore you don’t have to abide by them. As with anything, a few “bad apples” give the rest of us a bad name. One or two trucks speeding through town means ALL trucks speed?
When talking about the by-passes around town, it doesn’t work for every truck. The majority of trucks I would say are paid by the mile, not by the hour. So you need to consider that a 5 to 6 mile addition to their route would cut into the profitability of that trip. But it isn’t just the additional miles, the higher volume of traffic on highways 18 and 4 can make re-entry to those highways from the airport road difficult. I myself have chosen to go through town instead of the by-pass due to this fact alone. Not to mention that fact that the curve on the west side of town is tough on equipment. The new “by-pass” on the east side of town going north is a road to no-where for trucks traveling east and west on 18. To my understanding it was built to help relieve truck traffic coming from the north going to either POET or AGP diverting it from town.
No matter what, some people are never satisfied. Trucks are a part of life in rural Iowa. There is no way around it. There are four locations throughout Emmetsburg that receive grain. Often times trucks are the main delivery vehicle of that grain. So it is that truck traffic that helps support the jobs that exist at those locations. As a result those “annoying” trucks help keep people of the area employed and help contribute to the economy. In addition to that fact it isn’t uncommon to see trucks parked at local eating establishments during lunch or dinner hours. Do you want them to cease stopping in Emmetsburg to spend money that directly contributes to the local economy? It may not be a huge amount, but something is still better than nothing. Word travels fast, both good and bad about communities and the people and places in them. How do you want Emmetsburg to be viewed?
I believe there should be a little give and take. Do you want clothes on your back, food on your table, furniture in your house, car in your garage, gas in that car, or cement in your driveway? Or do you want that truck to use the by-pass and skip Emmetsburg just because it will make your day a little easier and a little quieter? The saying goes, if you bought it, a TRUCK brought it. Last time I checked there were no railroad tracks behind any retail store for them to get their supplies in.
So maybe, just maybe, the next time you see that big dumb semi driving through town instead of judging them you could consider thanking them for providing things for you to buy.
(signed) Douglas Miller
Truck Driver and local taxpayer