Large trucks on 7th Street rattle SJ residents

October 29, 2008 12:26:56 PM PDT
In spite of a specific restriction banning large trucks from traveling down 7th Street during evening hours when residents are trying to sleep, continued truck noise has residents reaching out to San Jose Police for relief.

Three years ago rattling windows, idling engines and choking exhaust from large trucks sent residents in the Spartan Keyes neighborhood in search of help from the San Jose city council.

"Homes in our neighborhood were built in the teens. There are a lot of Victorians. Large trucks going by makes an impact on our lives," said Jay Peeples, co-chair of the Spartan Keyes Neighborhood Association. "Noise is one thing, but the exhaust is a potential health hazard."

An ordinance was provided to them in December 2005 to prevent trucks over five tons from traveling on specific roads in their neighborhood at any time, and during the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. five-ton or larger trucks are prohibited from driving on 7th Street from about Hwy. 280 south to Keyes Street.

Signs are posted on these streets to alert truck drivers of the limits, but it hasn't stopped some trucks from driving down these roads.

Since March, San Jose Police officer Greg Crader has written 50 citations himself to truck drivers for disobeying the ordinance.

Capt. Richard Calderon and Greg Crader met with residents of the neighborhood to discuss solutions to the ongoing problem.

Calderon said that while there are signs posted, they plan to post more in those areas that are of most concern. Crader and other police officers will continue to monitor the area handing out citations and talking to the truck drivers. Calderon and Crader say they hope the drivers who are cited will help spread the word.

Aurelia Sanchez was involved with the neighborhood association when the ban was put in place. She said the residents are concerned that if they don't get a handle on the situation now it will only get worse.

"We're really hoping to get the city involved," she said. "As downtown gets higher density you're going to have more of this conflict between big trucks and residents."