Joplin car wash at odds with police over safety - KOAM TV 7

Joplin car wash at odds with police over safety


Workers at a Joplin car wash struggle with balance profit with the demands of police.  Joplin police officers say they are not in the business of turning away business.  But the location of the "In and Out" car wash on Seventh Street near Rangeline Road seems to pose a safety issue during this time of year.

Workers at the car wash say police are being too careful.

Traffic does tend to back up," says Sgt. Rusty Rives with the Joplin Police Department.

The long line at times can seem to never stop.

"Sun up, until sun down," says Daniel Fluharty, an assistant manager at the car wash.

Last month, during a day of thaw after snow, there was a whole block and a half worth of customers waiting to pay, then get their ride clean.

"I was told that the line got backed up on to Rangeline," says Sgt. Rives.

So police told waiting customers they had to move on.

Car wash workers say they typically see more than one thousand customers a day during busy times in the winter.  But when police told potential customers to go, it hurt.

"During those hours, we had a 50 percent drop in business," says Fluharty.

And it may happen again

"All the vehicles off the roadway are the car wash's business.  The vehicles on the roadway become our business when you start looking at the traffic safety side, and keeping the motorists safe," says Sgt. Rives.

"In and Out" car wash workers say they understand the problem.

"Technically, you're not supposed to wait there on the side of the road where the striped area is.  It's illegal, traffic wise, to be in a striped area," says Fluharty.

But workers say, don't get mad when there's something that's never proven to be bad.

"It's never caused a problem.  If it isn't broken, don't fix it," says Fluharty.

Police officers say even though they keep a watchful eye for safety in this area, most of the time when they respond to calls for traffic in this area it's because of calls from drivers who are concerned about the line for the car wash.

The car wash's assistant manager says he's thought about buying some property nearby, to ease the line of traffic.  But he's not prepared to do that just yet.


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