VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — They’ve fought to get semi trucks off a street that goes through the heart of their neighborhood for more than a year.
But people living in the Lincoln Neighborhood near downtown Vancouver say the trucks keep coming — and no one from the city is hearing their complaints.
On Monday afternoon, the big rigs rolled down 39th Street, rattling windows, braking loudly and adding congestion to this two-lane neighborhood road. The neighbors here have protested, petitioned, even purposely delayed traffic. And they’re still trying to get someone from the city to listen.
Mowing the grass is one of the few things Cora Bernal still does in her front yard. Her house sits right on 39th Street and the truck traffic — which she says is so prolific — even affects her life inside the house.
“I can’t have the windows open at night when I’m watching TV and stuff,” Bernal said, “because you can’t hear over the truck noise — you can’t hear the television.”
She said she loves the neighborhood, but now hears truck noise even at night as she tries to sleep.
“I think it’s the ‘jake brakes,’ I don’t know,” she said. “You hear the different noises all night long — big booms. It’s loud.”
Bernal and others told KOIN 6 News the problem became worse when the state built a bridge over the rail-yard at the west end of the road. The bridge gives truckers a more direct route to Vancouver’s Fruit Valley industrial area from Interstate 5.
Greg Martin said the city of Vancouver at the time assured neighbors the bridge would not materially increase truck traffic.
“It was basically, ‘Don’t worry about that,” Martin said.
Martin is adamant that the city’s promises didn’t hold true.
A city of Vancouver Public Works official told KOIN 6 News that 39th Street has handled commercial and vehicle traffic long before the bridge went in — and there are currently no plans to prohibit trucks on 39th. The official also said the city encourages trucks to use Mill Plain into the Port area, but doesn’t require it.
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