Thursday, June 5, 2014

Martin Howrylak – The Little Truck That's Bad at His Job


Troy City Council meetings have become boring affairs ever since the ol' teabag was tossed into the trash with the banana peels and coffee grounds. But there are still things to be learned at City Council meetings.

Like how bad Martin Howrylak is at his job being Troy's Representative.

Come with me to a recent City Council meeting.

At the May 19, 2014, City Council Meeting, Troy police officer Milt Stansbury gave a presentation about the enforcement of the frost laws in Troy. Frost laws are regulations in effect during the early spring thaw period when roads are prone to thaw-weakening. This year, the frost laws were in effect from March 19th until April 28th, the longest period enforcement that he has ever seen.

Because of the frost laws, businesses are required to either reroute each vehicle or lighten the loads to the per-axle statutory limit. (By the way, Michigan's statutory axle limit is the highest in the nation, at a maximum of 164,000 lbs. per truck. That makes Michigan's axle weight the highest in the nation and more than twice the federal weight limit.)

Now, the question arises as to whether or not such high axle limits damage the roads. According the Michigan Department of Transportation, the answer is “no,” as long as as the weight is evenly distributed over an appropriate number of axles.

In Troy, there are only two uniformed officers on patrol for trucks with loads evenly distributed and within their axle limits. Last year, these two officers stopped 120 trucks to discover all of them were well past their axle limits. The most dangerous of these overloaded trucks was an 11 axle monster, well past it's load limits, with 10 of it's brake lines completely non-functional.

To repeat, for clarity, last year, Troy police officers discovered an 820 ton truck, severely overloadedwith less than 50% of it's brakes in working order, driving on Troy's roads.

And here's the rub: According to Officer Stansbury, the trucking industry knows that there is very little enforcement of axle limits in urban areas. So the industry routinely overloads semis, knowing they won't be caught. Which means that Troy PD stopped only a fraction of the overloaded trucks throttling down our roads.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have 820 tons of steel and God-knows-what barreling down at me without reliable brakes.
Which takes me back to Martin Howrylak. I would expect that, after his many years on Troy City Council, Howrylak would know this. And because his current job is to represent Troy, he would do something about it.

Nope.

Instead of doing his job, Howrylak has sponsored a bill to place a second amendment monument on the capitol grounds. He's sponsored a resolution to declare April 27-May 3, 2014, as Black April Memorial Week. But he sure hasn't sponsored any laws to stop an industry endangering us all by knowingly breaking the law with impunity.
In the end, Martin Howrylak either knows about this problem or he doesn't. If he does, he's done nothing to fix it. If he doesn't, what is he doing in Lansing?

More proof that Martin Howrylak is bad at his job.

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