City council reconsiders stance on truck parking ban in Hobart, IN

| 6/4/2009

A final vote was expected on Wednesday, June 3, on a proposed ordinance that would prevent truckers from parking overnight at retail parking lots in Hobart, IN. 

However, that didn’t happen. 

The city council voted 5-1 to postpone a final vote after receiving a flood of phone calls and e-mails from truckers and RV owners who would have been affected by the ordinance.

Earlier in the week, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent out a Call to Action to its Indiana members alerting them of the upcoming council meeting after the council approved a first reading of the overnight parking ordinance by a 5-2 vote in May.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said he’s pleased the council is “taking another look at the issue” and reconsidering the views from truck drivers who are often left out of the democratic process when it comes to decisions that affect their livelihoods.

“We hope this council is mindful of drivers’ importance to the city of Hobart in having those vehicles there to pick up and deliver commerce, but also considers the important economic role these individual drivers have in supporting local business,” Spencer told Land Line on Thursday, June 4.

OOIDA Life Member Warren Riley from Valparaiso, IN, told Land Line he left messages with all the council members to educate them about the parking concerns truckers face daily out on the road. He said he heard back from two council members who were interested in his views on the issue. One called as he was walking into the city council meeting to vote on the ordinance.

“The reaction I got was they didn’t realize how this would affect us or they didn’t realize people were going to raise hell about this, so now they have decided to study it,” Riley told Land Line on Thursday, June 4.

OOIDA Senior Member Jessie Long of Hobart, who was in Oklahoma on Wednesday, sent his son, Richard, to the meeting.

“My attitude toward these places that don’t want trucks is to have the trucks pull up to a big lot and tell everybody who doesn’t want trucks in their towns to come get their freight and see how they like that,” he said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer