Here comes the Tiger Truck Lines rig northbound on 13th Street. The driver has just crossed Market. Behind me is Spring.
Since the advent of the Main Street Beautification Project, Tiger has transformed 13th Street into its own company connector road, regularly using Spring for westbound trucks and Market for eastbound.
Ironically, even though so much of the Main Street project is pure blather, the designers actually did take Tiger’s needs into mind when inserting those God-awful medians.
In fact, Tiger never has been somehow excluded from using Main Street, just as it did before.
This is 14th Street, looking south from Dewey. Just over the railroad track is Tiger’s scenic headquarters. You can see the K & I Bridge on the horizon.
When a Tiger trucker emerges from its lair on 14th, he or she comes first to Dewey, then Main. Here’s the view, looking north toward Main. Prior to the Main Street project, Tiger’s employees drove straight and turned onto Main in either direction.
The next three photos show the intersection of Main and 14th. As you can see, the medians are pulled way back to allow for wide turns. It is a huge expanse of asphalt left open for only one reason — for truckers like Tiger’s to use.
And they don’t use it.
Rather, ever since the Main Street project came about, Tiger’s adolescent management pique has translated into a new access policy. First, let’s go back to the intersection of 14th and Dewey, this time looking west, not straight toward Main.
Tiger’s truckers now turn left here …
… and then right (north) here, on 13th …
… to come rumbling across Main here (headed to the right, or north), using 13th as the company road to go to Market and Spring.
Obviously, 13th is a residential street, never designed or intended for commercial vehicles of this Tiger’s size. Plainly, Tiger’s management has undertaken a program of civic vandalism these last two years, operating from a vantage point behind the billows of Padgett’s litigious gown.
There’s only one logical answer to this problem.
Give 13th Street a two-block-long road diet, with bike paths and 10-foot lanes, and force Tiger’s trucks back onto Main, where they belong.
Or, place a weight limit on 13th and enforce it.
The likes of Irv Stumler instinctively sides with the vandals in a case like this. Obsessed with flower pots, the Silver Hills resident pays no mind to the appearance of heavy industrial equipment on a residential street. Perhaps these residents are too poor for Irv’s taste, or not sufficiently ambitious to get better jobs and move from the trucking ghetto to his neighborhood.
Irv aside (and he needs to be), the city has allowed Tiger to behave like a petulant brat. The city might alter this behavior, and should. The city made changes to Main. It can make changes to 13th. It should.