Oil and gas companies have created little pushback since Loving, New Mexico, passed an ordinance in 2016 barring large trucks from using their town as a bypass to the highway.
The Loving Village Council received “numerous” complaints of the vehicles taking shortcuts through Loving to get to the oil fields north of the village.
Loving Mayor Pete Estrada said the trucks were damaging roads, cracking sidewalks and disobeying traffic signs.
He said village officials have received calls from companies regarding the ordinance, but most have been compliant and understanding.
The ordinance passed last fall defines large trucks as any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
“There were oil field trucks tearing up the roads, but the roads were not in good shape to begin with,” Estrada said. “We’re trying to make them take alternative routes.”
Estrada said an estimated 100 trucks per day were cutting through the village, possibly attempting to avoid traffic.
“They were making sharp turns, breaking sidewalks. Really, there was too much traffic,” Estrada said. “It was dangerous for our kids.”
He said that village officials hope that trucks will take Carter Road or state Road 31 and U.S. Route 285 to get to their destination, rather than entering Loving through Fourth Street.
Any drivers who violate the ordinance can be convicted of a misdemeanor and fined up to $300, according to the ordinance.
“They just need to get on the main highway,” Estrada said. “We just have to take care of our stuff inside the village. We were really getting a lot of complaints from residents.”
Mayor Pro Tempore Serapio Parraz said he lives on Ash Road and witnessed many industrial trucks speeding and ignoring street signs, even when students at the local elementary school were trying to cross the road on their way to class.
"It was the negligence," Parraz said. "The biggest thing is, I was very concerned about the traffic at the school crossings."
The village began looking into creating an ordinance in fall 2015, Parraz said, to protect its streets from the heavy traffic when construction on Ash Street was completed.
Providing a straight shot east to west through Loving, the road was quickly deluged with trucks avoiding traffic on the highways.
The newly built road immediately began to suffer damage, along with cracks in the sidewalk from trucks making sharp turns and hopping the curb.
"It was the disrespect, really, making those turns," Parraz said. "We're not set up for that kind of traffic."
Parraz said large trucks doing business or originating from within the village itself would be allowed to enter, but Loving will no longer be used as a bypass by out-of-town truckers hoping for a quicker route.
"A lot of them were using our streets to get to their destination. They're just too narrow," he said. "It makes you want to show them that we do care about our community. We thought we needed to do something just seeing the deterioration."