FOLEY – Large trucks will be restricted from using Kenny Stabler Avenue under an ordinance approved by the Foley City Council.

Trucks with more than two axles, such as semi-trailer rigs, are not allowed to use the road between East Pride Boulevard and South Juniper Street.

The council voted Monday, April 1 to approve the ordinance. 

City Administrator Mike Thompson said more pedestrians will be walking in the area as projects such as housing for student workers and recreational facilities are completed nearby.

“Stabler Avenue runs through the middle of a very active area with youth sports as well as our international housing that’s going to be opening soon. In addition, it’s right next to the Farmers Market and pickleball courts,” Thompson said.

He said the city has worked to improve access for pedestrians in the area.

“Y’all put a lot of money and effort into adding sidewalks and lighting for those people who will be going to the west and the east to their jobs. So that particular road, we think, would be improved by limiting access by very large vehicles,” Thompson told council members.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said Stabler Avenue was not designed to accommodate large trucks.

“The road is not built as a thoroughfare,” Hellmich said. “Of course, it’s built to our standards and it has curves in the area where we’re building a new pickleball court.”

The mayor said some trucks began using Stabler when the south end of Juniper Street was closed for improvements at the intersection of Baldwin County 20.

“When we had Juniper closed, there was a lot of traffic on this road. I don’t think we originally started out to design this for this type of traffic. It was designed more as a connector. But with all the major connectors on the east, west and south, I don’t think it places a burden on anybody.”

He said other nearby routes are available for trucks.

“The thought was that we have County Road 20. We have Juniper. We have the Beach Express. So, there really isn’t a need for this shortcut,” Hellmich said.

“The commercial traffic that fronts 20 really can access all of the commercial areas they need by staying  on 20. We don’t really need anybody going down this street in a really large truck. It does have a curve on it. It’s not that it’s overly sharp or anything, but it was not set up for semi-truck traffic,” he added.

Foley has restricted truck traffic in other areas of the city in the past. One of the most recent restrictions was established in the Mills Community due to large trucks driving in residential areas.