A collective sigh of relief has gone up in northern Wake County. A group of residents has gotten the change they've been asking the state Department of Transportation to make for nearly two years.
The DOT has reversed course and agreed to a "no truck ordinance" along Victory Church Road and Hickory Grove Church Road, both of which have seen increasing traffic of dump trucks, according to neighbors.
Christina Valente heads up the Victory Church Safety Task Force, a group formed and devoted to the cause of getting heavy trucks banned from the road.
"It's a great feeling," Valente said of the decision. "I'm shocked and pleased at the same time. I started to doubt we would get to this point."
During the past 20 months, Valente and her neighbors reached out to myriad groups that hold some authority over the road, including official agencies such as the DOT and the Highway Patrol and groups such as cycling clubs that use Victory Church as a super-highway of sorts.
They installed a motion-sensing camera to capture and record the number of trucks on Victory Church (sometimes upward of 200 per day).
"It only takes one of those trucks to absolutely mow somebody down and it's going to happen," Valente told the I-Team in March.
But for most of Valente's crusade, the DOT maintained that Victory Church "isn't considered a residential road" and that "restricting trucks on it would have a negative effect on business."
That's why news of the recent change caught Valente and many others in the area off guard.
"I am so excited about not having to face trucks every day and the thought that lives probably will have been saved by this," she told ABC11.
It's unclear what changed at the state level. A Steve Abbott, a spokesperson for the DOT sent this explanation when asked:
We were asked by Secretary Tennyson and Representative Avila to continue searching for a solution for the neighborhood's concern. We found some clarification on the phrase "approximately the same" that was the primary sticking point for asking 20-116(h). With this clarification we are able to restrict trucks on Victory Church and Hickory Grove. This will redirect through trucks from these routes to either primary highways or other local truck routes.
According to the DOT, the change becomes official once the signs go up. That should happen before July 15.