California cities crack down on parking, routes

| 7/5/2005

Two California cities are making streetside truck parking an endangered species.

To combat emissions from trucks going to and from the ports, a residents’ group in West Oakland is proposing a new truck route that would remove trucks from several residential streets.

The new route would move trucks off several main roadways, including Mandela Parkway and portions of Peralta Street – which became regular trafficways for commercial vehicles after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Oakland Tribune reported.

Instead, trucks will be directed onto Third, Fifth and Union streets to enter and exit Interstate 880.

According to a report from the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research group, the port traffic exposes West Oakland residents to six times the amount of diesel emissions as their neighboring communities.

About an hour east of Oakland on Interstate 580, another community is keeping trucks off its streets with increased fines.

In the city of Tracy, officials have outlawed truck traffic on Tracy Boulevard south of Linne Road. The ban is the latest in a series of parking-limited streets, which already prohibits trucks on Sixth Street, Holly Drive and Lammers and Valipcio Roads, the Tracy Press reported.

According to the Press, all trucks caught parked on the roads will face a fine of $100.

Truckers in the area say the ban is discriminatory, and leaves them without a place to park their rigs when they are home. Marcos Ozuna, a driver who lives and works in the area every day, told the Press that he can’t afford to pay $150 a month to park in a commercial lot offered by the city.

“Where do I park my truck?” Ozuna said.

The same parking challenges that the California truckers are facing are popping up across the country as cities and counties are introducing new regulations.