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Denton roads blocked by beer delivery trucks

Denton roads blocked by beer delivery trucks

A Budweiser delivery truck drops off beer on Hickory Street on Saturday. The bars typically receive deliveries every day at varying times.

Denton roads blocked by beer delivery trucks
January 14
12:54 2014

Matt Wood / Staff Writer

It’s 5 p.m. and one of the two lanes on Fry Street is entirely blocked by a delivery truck.

“I go home sometimes through Fry Street,” city council member Kevin Roden said. “When everyone is going home, it’s crowded and busy, and then there’s a beer truck blocking a whole lane.”

The main businesses that receive deliveries are Rip Rocks, Lucky Lou’s and Cool Beans, located on Hickory Street. Riprock’s manager Amanda Hooten said they typically receive a beer shipment every day at a random time.

“The trucks have their own schedule,” she said. “We don’t have control over when the deliveries are.”

The frequency of the deliveries is partially due to demand, Hooten said, but it is also due to a lack of available storage within the building for larger stocks of alcohol.

The root of the issue is the lack of accommodation for deliveries in older Denton buildings. Roden said some buildings are almost 100 years old.

“Any time you have an old part of town, you have a situation where you have a high density of concentrated businesses that weren’t really intended to have deliveries,” Roden said.

This is especially evident on Fry Street and the Square. Roden said the lack of loading areas for deliveries relegates the trucks to the streets.

English senior John Johnson said the trucks’ presence can be a nuisance.

“The trucks can sometimes get in the way,” Johnson said. “Even though I walk to school, it can get annoying to get around when they’re parked in the road.”

Roden said the creation of an entirely new bar district could alleviate the issue, but said it would lose the charm of the local business area.

“It’s a problem that we could solve if we recreated a bunch of Loop 288-looking bar districts, with wide parking lots and huge delivery areas,” he said. “But I think that would kind of take away the character of what you have on Fry Street or downtown.”

The city is currently looking into methods of allowing beer trucks to unload without interrupting traffic, Roden said.

One proposed solution involves the city working with local businesses to help schedule deliveries around heavy traffic hours on the two-lane streets.

“To me, there’s a reasonable conversation that could take place, saying it would help if we could get the deliveries even two hours later,” Roden said. “Or at 10 in the morning when there’s not as much traffic.”

Cool Beans manager Rebecca Lovell said the bar gets deliveries six days a week, but said she makes sure the delivery trucks park off to the side of the road near Lucky Lou’s or out of the main lanes.

“All the deliveries we get here, they park on the [north] side of Hickory, so they’re not really blocking anything,” she said. “I rarely use a company that parks right in front of our building.”

However, Roden said the city would need to hear concern from citizens in order to take action.

“We need to bring attention to the issue to see how we can mitigate it,” he said.

Roden said the city wants to balance the lifestyle that these kinds of small businesses offer, while also keeping roads and traffic in order.

“It’s one of these difficult situations because you love the vibrant life these establishments bring to Fry Street and downtown, which require deliveries or anything it takes to run that business,” Roden said. “So how you balance that is a tough issue.”

Feature photo: A Budweiser delivery truck drops off beer on Hickory Street on Saturday. The bars typically receive deliveries every day at varying times. Photo by Matt Wood / Staff Writer.

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