The Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas on August 19, 1951 · Page 54
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The Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas · Page 54

Corpus Christi, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 19, 1951
Page 54
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TRUCKS: help or headache? By KARL KOHRS AND EDWARD FALE5 hare focused attention on trucks r Oft«no truck driver is not to blame, however. See story. · Eight killed -- a year and three miles apart: JULY, 1950: On Roule 17, New York, truck, car collided, *lid 30 ft. into pond. Four died. Spectacular accidents like this one JULY, 1951: 3 mites from above scene, wild truck wrecked 16 cart. Four dead, 10 hurt. Owners and road experts alike look for the answer as eight million crowd our inadequate highways! H ERE'S GOOD NEWS for motorists: America is trying as never before to solve another great traffic headache: trucks! From coast to coast, engineers, safety experts and highway officials are ^studying problems that are arising from a tremendous upsurge in trucking. Cooperating with truckers themselves, many of whom have been very forward-looking,, they're trying as never before to get answers to these questions: 1. How can truck traffic, congestion and accidents, such as the one shown above, be prevented? 2. How much damage can trucks do to our Highways? 3. Should trucks, which already contribute heavily in taxes, pay more? Or less? Traffic congestion is the problem'you know best. In many states, especially in the congested areas around our great cities, the increase in trucking, which has come along with a staggering increase in autp traffic, has become a splitting headache. In fact, the whole investigation spotlights the growing inadequacy of our highway system. What Is Happening? As A RESULT, some states and cities - and ·*»· truckers, too-are taking drastic action. · Massachusetts has banned daytime trucking (except for perishable foods) on Sundays, when roads are jammed. « para)* AUGUST 19, 1951 · Some cities have barred heavy trucks from busy^streets during certain hours. · Philadelphia, fighting jams, may force big trucks to transfer loads to small trucks at outlying-freight stations. · And New York recently banned vehicles over 33 feet long from some streets in busy hours. · In Michigan, truckers themselves patrol the roads spotting trucks that are overloaded. · Everywhere, truckmen are thumping the drum for safe, courteous driving. · Meanwhile, the ^Highway Research Board, a branch of the famous National Research Council, is carefully trying to dig out the facts in the explosive fight now being waged over highway damage. All these are Just a few examples of what's happening. For the whole picture is being carefully, studied in all its angles. Not only to save roads--but lives! You know^the problem. If. you're a driver, you've battled your way around trucks in city traffic. You've trailed overloaded trucks at dead-slow speed on hills. You've squeezed past them on bridges. Trying to overtake them on rainy days, you've been dangerously blinded by mud and water sprayed from big, speeding wheels. . And you've -read headlines, over and over: "Motorist killed in collision with truck." "Bridge falls, truck lands in river." "Runaway truck smashes store ..." · On a hill in New York State the other day, a truck ran wild. Result: IS cars smashed, 4 motorists dead, 10 hurt. · In Texas recently a tractor-trailer "jackknifed" into a funeral line: 4 kitted. · In New Jersey, actress Carol Bruce collided with a truck, escaped unnurt. But the truck driver died. It's a familiar picture. Today you compete for road space not only with 36,000,000 automobiles" but with an incredible number of trucks. Know how many? · In 1941 there were 4,700,000. · But today there are 8,600,000. · And many of these trucks need as much room as three automobiles. Some need more. Some are so shamelessly overloaded that they have to race down every hill in order to climb the next one. - ' Y 2, u 've seen "overloads" crawling up hills, blocking traffic, at 5 or 10 moh. You've seen harassed motorists try'to pass-taking a chance that might kill somebody. Just what is an "overload?" if _^^ ·· * The Battle's Getting Rough. HpHAT's A FIGHTING QUESTION. Today, in 34 ·*· states, it's anything over 9 tons per axle. _ In other words, if a truck has 3 axles, it's "overloaded" if it carries more than 27 tons. There are other factors, too. However", nobody yet can speak with final authority. But the-.Highway Research Board's engineers, careful men interested only in facts, have been studying a special truck-test road in Maryland. (There will be similar test roads soon in northwest Indiana, in the Denver-Salt Lake City region, and In the South.) · The engineers say trucks carrying 9 tons per axle ran for months over their 'test road without seeming to harm it. · When the load was jumped to 11 ^ons, they said, cracks appeared. When the load" was ", doubled, they said, the road broke up fast. * The Truckers Scoffed SPOKESMEN said: "Baloney I" They -I- claim the test results .have 'been ..widely misinterpreted. · The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Assn. cried -angrily that the test results were misinterpreted by "the press, radio, television and^nti^ truck propagandists." _ That shows you how hot the fight is. It's getting into politics,- too. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's famous 9-year- old Turnpike seems to toe bearing up under fast traffic-- and doubtless many illegally overloaded trucks." But other heavy- trucked roads are crumbling. Who Are the Villains? E XCEPT FOR OWNERS who load trucks beyond all limits of conscience and reason, there Is probably only one real villain in the picture. · And that villain our horse-and-buggy system of streets and highways. Our present old-fashioned 2-way streets and roads were designed for horses and oil-lamps - not for rows of cars and trucks passing with glaring headlights/at speeds up to 60 mph. · More and more the indication is: 2-way roads are out of date. It's going to take time and money to build 1-way roads. But in areas where cities are joined by closely paralleling, roads, we can set up 1-way highways between them-as was done recently between- New Haven and Hartford, Conn. · It's true, tooj of city streets. Some cities, such as New Rochelle, N. Y., now have 1-way truck routes through downtown sections. We Need Trucks E COULD, of course, .force many trucks off the road, by sky-high licensing. Some states have raised license fees sharply. But you need those millions of trucks! · -. Of those 8,600,000, did you know several million dehvertreadrTnilk- oil, other necessities? And that 2,500,000 work for farmers? And 350,000 work for your governments? Trucks, like railroads, have opened up vast areas for development. Now, like railroads, trucks are needed to serve, those areas! Whether we like it or not, trucks are here to stay, The only thing we can do is build and rule our highways accordingly. _ Some railroads now have separate freight and .passenger lines. Don't be surprised if you 'see special "freight roads" in-the future! TRUCK DRIVERS are often far more courteous and .skillful than many motorists, but are handicapped by inadequate roads. This cheerful driver drove more than 330,000 mile* without a single accident. AUGUST 19, 1951 pwMte 7

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