SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV-TV) – Locals and the people who work son Bay Street know all too well the anxiety truck traffic causes along the downtown road.
After heavy questions during the 2015 election, Mayor Eddie DeLoach is returning to the issue now asking city council to brainstorm solutions.
“They need to make a new route for the trucks because it’s ridiculous to find the parking and it’s dangerous,” says Tayianna Milledge who has worked along Bay Street for years.
So day in day out, the busiest stretch of road in downtown Savannah sees heavy traffic both from cars and tractor trailers either coming from the ports or carrying long distance freight.
“For like eight years I’ve kind of ignored it. Som people do complain about the sound as far as customer wise if they’re not use to it but I’m one of those people once I’m use to something I shut it out, I’m pretty good at that stuff, ” says Barry Barlup who manages Savannah Clothing Company across from City Hall.
A part of the problem is that Bay Street is a state road, state route 26, and city leaders have had few solutions for reducing the heavy truck traffic because they can control around the road but need state permission to alter it dramatically.
“It’s a very dangerous situation there with trucks again flowing through there and the sounds they make, I just think we have to try some unique things,” says 1st district alderman Van Johnson.
His solution is unique, but thinks it can be a good temporary fix.
“Perhaps we can look again at not allowing parking on River, on Bay street creating another parking option for people in that area. That creates larger lanes for trucks to go through,” Johnson adds.
The alderman says that other parking option comes in the new parking deck on River street that city leaders allowed for the Downtown Savananh Authority to issue out city bonds for private construction. In the past, Mayor DeLoach has suggested moving the traffic away from the historic district all together. Several aldermen see building another bridge connecting Veterans parkway with the Truman as the long term solution.
“They need a new route, honestly, the street is too small,” Milledge says.
The alderman is not sure what timeline there is for any changes to Bay Street. He adds though that traffic engineers with the city are contasntly looking into alternatives as well as streetscaps changes for the traffic.