passed April 10 in a Florida city would restrict where trucks drive and
Council in Palatka, a northeast Florida community south of Jacksonville,
voted to restrict truck traffic to only certain routes within the city.
The council also changed an ordinance on truck parking. The law previously
banned overnight truck parking in residential neighborhoods; Thursday's
vote extends the rule to 24 hours, unless the truck is making a delivery.
the city clerk in Palatka, told Land Line the truck route ordinance
was mainly targeted at traffic following U.S. 17, which travels through
the city and is the only crossing over the St. John River in 60 miles.
Logging trucks picking up loads on the east side of the river use the bridge
to get to drop-off sites on the west side of the river, she said, and many
use side streets to avoid traffic and stoplights along the highway as they
pass through the city.
a lot of log traffic through here,” Driggers said, which creates maintenance
problems for the city's government. The city's residential streets are
not built for the big trucks, and Palatka doesn't receive any tax money
from the trucks to repair its side streets.
that they pay federal taxes, but we don't see any of that money,” she said. “That's
all going to repave U.S. Highway 17. That's all state money. What we're
trying to do is protect our infrastructure. ”
a former owner-operator, said she understood why truckers wanted their
rigs close to home.
certainly identify because I used to own them myself,” she said. “I know
what a problem it is trying to keep your things secure.”
parking a rig at home is no guarantee of security, the city clerk said.
does have some truck parking, across the St. John River at the local farmer's
market, Driggers said.
are spaces up there you can lease.”
In addition, “there
are several businessmen in town who have been talking about providing space.
I believe one has already done it.” That area, she said, is at a local
of truckers live in the city, Driggers said. And not all are happy with
the new rules.
had a few complaints,” she said, but “most people understand.”
H. Reddig, associate editor