Thursday, July 19, 2007

Loading Zone Needed

Ever tried to drive north on Dean Street into the Square, when a tractor-trailer or other large delivery truck is parked in the traffic lane by Angelo’s, so that the driver can unload his delivery?

A little problem? A big problem!

There is no doubt that the driver needs to deliver his food to Angelo’s. Customers tend to get a little unhappy when they want to order bacon & eggs and there aren’t any.

Drivers need to be able to stop close to the delivery point and make their deliveries fairly quickly, so that they can get on to the next stop. The driver is probably not seated in Angelo’s, enjoying a leisurely breakfast and that extra cup of coffee.

What’s the problem? When you are the driver who has driven around the Square and wants to turn right at the Opera House and go south on Dean, there is probably no problem, unless you happen to meet a car head-on in your lane after making the turn.

Or, if you are the driver stopped behind the truck, hoping and praying that a driver coming your way might just be courteous enough to stop well back and allow you to pull out from behind the truck and drive on the wrong side of the street to pass the parked delivery truck.

Recently I suggested to the City that a Loading Zone be created on Dean Street between Calhoun and Van Buren Streets. As I recall, the response was, “We’ll look into it.”

Well, the “looking time” has passed. What’s the decision? How about a Loading Zone from 7:00-9:00AM for the three-four parking spaces on the east side of Dean Street? Then the driver of a tractor-trailer or other delivery truck could just pull straight into it, make the delivery, and leave. By the way, the driver should stop far enough back from the stop sign so as not to obstruct an approaching driver’s view of the stop sign.


Anonymous said...

I normally have the courtesy to the delivery driver and any possible oncoming traffic to go in one of the other 3 entrances to the square rather than risk a head on collision. I also will avoid leaving that route when the driver is there so as to avoid a head on collision with a cell phone gabbing soccer mom who can't take a right turn and two more left turns to go get her morning starbucks. Too be honest, I'd love to see Woodstock do something about cell phone talkers, I mean if Chicago can do it why can't Woodstock. People who need to hold the phone to their ear while they are driving never seem to ever look right or left while they are driving, I get hit almost daily by one of these yahoo's that doesn't have the common sense to either pull over or spend the 20 dollars for a hands free device for the cellular phone.

Gus said...

Thanks for posting! I'm right there with you on a handheld cell phone ban for Woodstock. I pitched the City Council on that a while back (2005?), and there was not a peep out of any one of them. No acknowledgement, no discussion, no nodding heads. I contacted the City Manager later in the week and learned that the public comment portion of the City Council meeting is just that. I had expected some comment from the Council in response to my request that they take some interest in the safety of the rest of us on the roads. But it was not to happen. I too am almost hit daily by drivers too lazy to interrupt their cell phone conversations to stop at stop signs, use their turn signals, yield at traffic lights, etc., etc., etc. Even the cops drive around, talking on the handheld cell phones. Of course, it's not unlawful - just unsafe. But unsafe only if the operation of the vehicle is unsafe.

John Daab said...

I'm checking out old postings, so I doubt that anyone will see this, even Gus. But I just wanted to mention that all of the studies I've seen agree that handheld cell phone use and non-handheld cell phone use are equally dangerous. A "Mythbusters" program I saw a while back tested whether using a cell phone while driving was as dangerous as driving legally drunk. In their test, legally drunk was safer, and by a pretty good margin, as I remember. "Need to talk" can be as compulsive and irrational as "Need to get high." Make them both DUI.