GOSHEN — Through trucks will soon no longer be allowed to use C.R. 38, or Kercher Road, within the city limits of Goshen.
City council passed the prohibition at its meeting Tuesday night. The new ordinance will prevent commercial vehicles towing a trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer larger than 40 feet from using Kercher Road from S.R. 15 to the western limits of the city in order to reach C.R. 17.
Signs will be placed to let truck drivers know to take S.R. 119 in order to go between C.R. 17 and S.R. 15.
The idea first rose out of safety concerns for trucks on the s-curves on Kercher Road. Questions of enforceability arose but city attorney Larry Barkes did not believe enforcing the ordinance would be an issue once signs are installed.
Giving truck drivers enough warning could prove tricky, however, as placing signs on C.R. 17 to alert drivers to the ordinance would have to be cleared by Elkhart County. Barkes noted there will most likely need to be cooperation from the county to help divert traffic on C.R. 17 to S.R. 119 and give truck drivers fair notice.
“We have noticed problems east and west,” Barkes said. “Passage of this gives us the opportunity to have those conversations (with the county).”
Councilwoman Julia Gautsche stated her concern that funneling traffic onto S.R. 119 was not much better of an option as far as safety. Councilman Jeremy Stutzman agreed, but admitted that the option in front of them was the best they could do until improvements are made.
Goshen resident Dean Jessup echoed Stutzman’s response during the public comment period. “Is it a good option? No. It’s maybe the best option right now if it finally forces a hand to finally have a task force meeting to discuss south side traffic issues.”
Even with the passage of the prohibition at Tuesday’s meeting, the ordinance specifies that enforcement will not begin until signs are posted giving truck drivers notice either upon or at the entrance of the portion of Kercher Road that is affected.
Trucks needing to make deliveries on Kercher Road will still be allowed to utilize the road.