No easy way out


The situation for residents living behind the Pilot Truck Stop has almost reached a boiling point.

The subdivision in question is the old Van Horn Addition that has in some ways become an island with no easy way in or out. The primary means of access to this neighborhood is via the I-10 access road. For most residents, they don’t really view this as a major frustration or inconvenience.

However, to leave the subdivision, a resident must either use the I-10 access road going east and make a U-turn at the Chevron and come back on the westbound I-10 service road.

The other alternative, one that has become almost intolerable and unsafe is for the residents to try and make their way through Firebush Street — a street that has a 20-foot easement through the Pilot parking lot. On most days, to make it from the subdivision to Hwy. 90 becomes something of a maze.

It is common to see 18-wheeler trucks blocking the 20-foot right-of-way, otherwise known as Firebush Street. It is logical and reasonable to  believe that the truckers have no idea that they are causing traffic backups because the truckers probably have no knowledge about the street.

This is no comfort for the residents who live behind the Pilot. One resident told the Advocate that this problem has only gotten worse in the last few years. He said that former Mayor Ben Flanagan had taken an interest in helping out the residents, and that the mayor had led the effort to put up a buffer zone between the Pilot property and the subdivision.

That same resident said that now-commissioner Gilda Morales had been instrumental in preventing Pilot from building a major addition to the truck stop that would have created even greater problems.

Another resident told the Advocate that he was tired of trying to maneuver around the large trucks just to get to Hwy. 90. “I pay taxes too,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to be put through this target practice every time I decide I want to go to town.”

The Advocate twice called and left a message for the communications manager at Pilot headquarters in Tennessee. The call was not returned as of press time.


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