Maryland truckers speak out on parking

| Friday, July 18, 2008

Truckers who live in Montgomery County, MD, are certain to be interested in a public meeting next week regarding a bill that seeks to regulate where drivers can park their trucks.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on July 22 at the Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD.

Montgomery County Council President Michael J. Knapp introduced a bill – 27-08 – to the Council on June 23. It seeks to prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles, buses and recreational vehicles on public roadways in the county if either side of the street abuts a block containing a private residence, apartment, church, school, hospital or playground.

On July 11, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent out an Information Update to its members in Montgomery County to make them aware of the upcoming meeting to address truck parking concerns there. Click here to read it.

Carmen Berrious, Knapp’s legislative aide who worked on the bill, said officials are trying to come up with a solution to address truck parking complaints in the county. She encourages truckers to voice their opinions via e-mail, regular mail, or in person at the meeting. Written comments will be considered part of the public testimony on the issue, Berrious said.

“The problem we have here is that some people (who live two or three counties away) are parking their vehicles on (our) public roadways,” she told Land Line in June. “While we are trying to find a balance and offer options for truckers to park their vehicles, we also have to listen to those that are complaining that parking these rigs on public roadways is a public safety issue as well.”

Berrious said officials are looking at an underused state-owned commuter parking lot, at Interstate 270 and Clopper Road, as one possible solution for truckers to park their rigs.

She said she understands some truckers might be hesitant to park their vehicles in a lot that’s not gated or doesn’t have security measures in place, and emphasized that the commuter lot is just one option that has been looked at so far.

“We are encouraging anyone who has any suggestions or comments on this bill to speak up and let us know,” Berrious said.

With the meeting scheduled for next week, sending an e-mail or calling the bill’s sponsor, Knapp, may be more timely ways to get comments there in time.

Send e-mail comments to Councilmember.Knapp@montgomerycountymd.gov or call his office at 240-777-7955.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer
clarissa_kell-holland@landlinemag.com

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