Truckers fight city council in Hobart, IN, over parking ordinance

| 6/1/2009

As more cities and states attempt to eliminate truck parking in their communities by closing vital rest areas, frustrated truckers are determined to fight back. 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent out a Call to Action to its Indiana members on Monday, June 1, after the city council in Hobart, IN, proposed an ordinance at its last meeting that would prohibit truckers from parking overnight at retail parking lots, such as Wal-Mart, along U.S. 30.

The council’s first reading of the ordinance was approved by a 5-2 vote; however, a final vote is expected at their upcoming meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3.

OOIDA is encouraging its members to make calls to council members in Hobart, who are listed in the CTA, to block this ordinance. It would restrict where truckers can park to take their federally mandated 10-hour breaks.

“Safety should come first. and the council should abandon this ridiculous ordinance,” wrote Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president, in the CTA.

OOIDA Life Member Warren Riley, who lives in Valparaiso, IN, said he opposes what the council is trying to do in Hobart.

The nearest truck stop is 7 miles away and only has truck parking for about 20 trucks, Riley said. He said that many of the local drivers already have dibs on those spaces, so many long-haul truckers are going to be out of luck if they can’t park at Wal-Mart and other local stores.

“We have a lot of truck traffic that comes through here on U.S. 30 who are trying to avoid running the toll road,” Riley told Land Line recently. “But, if Hobart passes this ordinance, where are they going to park? The city of Hobart needs to think this through before they do something like this.”

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer