After a recent uptick in truck traffic, Mississippi park rangers hope that adding “symbol signs” to existing text-based signage will keep truckers from using the Natchez Trace Parkway as a shortcut.
National Park Service Says There Should Be “No Misunderstanding” With New Signs
Though trucks have been banned on all 444 miles of the recreational road that runs through Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee for 80 years, the National Park Service says that there have been an increasing number of trucks using the Natchez Trace Parkway in recent years, with park rangers handing out more than 300 tickets just last year.
Park rangers took note of the entrances and exits to “the Trace” that were most commonly used by trucks and hatched a plan to reduce truck traffic.
Chief Ranger Sarah Davis said, “Each entrance already has a sign that says ‘No Commercial Vehicles.’ We are adding the universal ‘No Truck Symbol’ signs to the entrances where we have the most problems with truck traffic. The new signs have a drawing of a truck with a red circle and slash through it. There should be no misunderstanding; trucks are prohibited on the parkway.”
Officials say that safety is one reason for keeping truck traffic off of Natchez Trace Parkway. Ranger Scott Galbraith says that another reason is because the roadway wasn’t designed for commercial vehicle traffic: “It’s not supposed to bear the weight and loads that these semi-trucks are bringing onto the Parkway. And in fact, many of our bridges are having to be repaired ahead of schedule because of all the weight that’s caused such destruction.”
In addition to the new signs, the National Park Service is asking anyone who sees a truck on Natchez Trace Parkway to call 800-600-PARK (7275).