Company Hoping Truckers Get the Message

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DUNMORE, Pa. -- A company that's been in Lackawanna County for decades is trying to fix a 21st-century problem.

Some tractor trailer drivers that visit UGL, or United Gilsonite Laboratories, in Dunmore are following their GPS too closely and causing headaches for neighbors.

If you drive in Scranton's Green Ridge section or Dunmore, you may have noticed signs with the logo for UGL.

The company is hoping to use an old-fashioned method to combat a 21st-century problem.

The Dunmore neighborhood surrounding United Gilsonite Laboratories has changed since the 1930s when the company that makes building products first opened.

Neighbors say a train used to make deliveries here on Jefferson Avenue. Now, it's tractor trailers of increasing size. And for the past few years, technology has been leading some of them astray.

"Some drivers aren't from the area, so they take a GPS, put in 1396 Jefferson Ave. They're coming the wrong way. Two things lead to another, and they're in a tight spot they can't get out of," said Kyle Brown, UGL transportation manager.

The evidence is clear a block down where Jefferson Avenue splits. There are tire ruts in the grass and damaged curbs. Neighbors say the utility poles have been replaced half a dozen times in recent years.

"We sent out directions. I made hundreds of phone calls. I did everything I could under the sun besides get signs, so that was a last resort. So thank God we were able to partner and now we've got the signs," Brown added.

UGL and Dunmore borough worked together to chart a better path for tractor trailers. Signs guide them down Green Ridge Street and onto Wyoming Avenue.

Once the trucks are on Wyoming Avenue, they're then supposed to make a left onto New York Street.

"That's the only way in and out of here. It should be the only way for anybody, especially big trucks, to get in and out of here."

UGL says so far, the signs have worked.

Dunmore police agree. Captain Richard Barth says officers were signing a lot of citations for truck drivers on Jefferson Avenue, where they're banned, but that number has gone down.

"The UGL logo is on them clearly, and so there shouldn't be any more questions," said Barth. "So far it has worked. We've had very minor complaints. There still have been a few, but nothing. It's drastically decreased the amount of traffic coming in and out on the narrow streets."

Dunmore police say truck drivers who do not follow the marked route will face a $300 fine.


  • jimbrony

    Great idea, but it makes at least three assumptions: 1. Drivers actually pay attention to signs. 2. Drivers can read. 3. Drivers can read English.

    • jimbrony

      Oh, they were just rubbed (according to you) so that makes it OK. Not sure about all the other super truckers out there, but I always made it a point NOT to hit (or rub) anything in my vehicle or someone else’s. My goal was not to damage public or private property but according to you that’s OK. Call me old fashioned but I respect other people’s property. So where is this PennDOT truck – sorry – bridge that according to you I hit? Up at 3 AM – go get ‘em tiger!

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