The speed limit on a heavily populated residential section of north Pecan Avenue was reduced earlier this month by the Board of Aldermen, in wake of ongoing noise complaints from residents stemming from heavy truck traffic.

In addition, aldermen banned the use of Jake brakes, an add-on brake for diesel engines, on Pecan Avenue from the Columbus Avenue intersection to Stribling Street.

The Board of Aldermen lowered the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph for that section of the street at its March 5 meeting.

Ward 1 Alderman Joe Tullos brought the issue before the board, saying complaints had been received about noisy trucks traveling the street.

He told aldermen that numerous complaints had also been aired about trucks employing loud Jake brakes. He asked aldermen to authorize the erection of "No Engine Brakes" signs along the street.

When used, these brakes would rattle the windows of nearby homes, Tullos said.

The measure was unanimously approved by the board.

The issue of heavy truck traffic along Pecan Avenue has been highly contested in recent years.

In mid-2011 the city board voted unanimously to reopen the street to truck traffic after a nearly 10-year ban at the request of Community Development Partnership President David Vowell.

Vowell said lifting the ban was needed to reduce fuel costs and travel time for truckers associated with business and industry, both present and prospective.

Prior to the ban being lifted, trucks coming from the south headed to the industrial park area or going north on Mississippi 19 or 15 had to go around on the bypass west of town.

Trucks are now free to use Pecan Avenue [old Mississippi 15] all the way to the bypass.

Since the reopening, residents along the street have complained of trucks traveling too fast.

What's more, traffic lights at the Beacon Street-Pecan Avenue intersection have been damaged numerous times by heavy trucks since the street was reopened to truck traffic.