A commissioner in New Mexico is looking to eliminate truck bans on federally funded highways in Lincoln County.
Lincoln, New Mexico, home of seven museums made of 150-year-old adobe, has signs prohibiting trucks over 65 feet long from passing through their town on U.S. Highway 380 without a permit, claiming that semi truck traffic accelerates the deterioration of their adobe buildings.
“We’re on the National Historic Registry. There are seven museums that line Lincoln, that are adobe from 150 years old and they actually…the trucks coming through here make them crumble,” said Katherine Marsh, who runs the Wortley Hotel in town, reported KRQE News.
Now though, Lincoln County commissioner Preston Stone says that the signage may not be legal and that there is not state statute to support it, despite the town’s claims regarding the negative effects of truck traffic.
“It should be all trucks, regardless of length. It is a U.S. federal highway, that highway receives federal funds,” Stone said.
“It is an east to west corridor for truck traffic to go to cut the mileage down and to save them a tremendous amount of money on transporting goods.”
Regardless of Stone’s claims pointing out the lack of logic in banning trucks from highways that are paid for by federal funds, especially when trucks are so vital to American’s way of life, Marsh and others who live in Lincoln still stand by their sentiments – semi trucks will ‘ruin’ the small town.
“It would also take away the ambiance that they’re experiencing when they come here. Lincoln’s a perfectly preserved time capsule in history,” she said, also mentioning the constant flow of nearly 60,000 pedestrians a year crossing the street during peak tourism seasons.
As of October 30th, the New Mexico Department of Transportation says that it does not plan on removing the signs, as the highway features ‘significant curves,’ making the ‘no thru trucks’ policy reasonable without even mentioning the truck traffic’s effect on historical landmarks.
Stone says he plans on finding a way to widen the curves to allow for truck traffic.