BANKS TOWNSHIP -- In a few weeks, PennDOT plans to restrict most tractor-trailers from Route 93 near Hazleton.
PennDOT plans to ban trucks that are at least 28 feet long on Route 93. Officials say the ban on typical tractor-trailers is needed because out-of-town truck drivers not familiar with Route 93 keep crashing.
There were three crashes in three days involving trucks on Route 93 in April at the base of Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning.
Trucks will have to take a detour. Southbound they will go off Route 93 onto Route 424 in Hazle Township, onto Route 309 into McAdoo and onto Route 54 in Hometown.
John Cherk says the truck ban is needed.
"It's pretty hard to stop if kids are running around, going downhill, because they need so many feet, so yeah, I kind of like that idea. I didn't hear anything about that before."
Route 93 turns into Broad Street in downtown Hazleton. Some people are concerned if truckers cannot go through here, then they'll avoid the area altogether.
"It would affect commercial facilities, industrial facilities," said Pasco Schiavo, a lifelong businessman in Hazleton.
He worries that the detour would make truckers go around Hazleton, and that could make the city less attractive for big-box businesses.
"It might deter them from either staying here or coming to relocate here, so it's something that's really a great concern to me and other people in the Hazleton area," said Schiavo.
PennDOT says after hearing some of those concerns, they're now considering putting the truck ban in place in only one direction. They have not said when they'd make that decision, but that the ban is planned to be put in place in a few weeks.