Community seeks idling restrictions in North Bend, WA

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 1/25/2012

Truckers who live around North Bend, WA, say they can’t remember a time when the local truck stop, known as “truck town,” wasn’t there.

As the community around North Bend has expanded, some city officials and residents have taken issue with “public health concerns” regarding the trucks that park and fuel at the TravelCenters of America.

Some officials and residents have raised complaints about air quality from idling trucks and noise pollution.

However, OOIDA member Joyce Hibma of North Bend, says they are missing the “bigger picture.”

“It seems the community is more concerned about air quality and noise pollution than the safety of the drivers,” Hibma told Land Line. “I kind of feel like our town is a few years behind on this because so many of the trucks are cleaner-burning. They aren’t polluting the air.”

OOIDA sent out a Call to Action to members who live in the North Bend area to attend the North Bend Planning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26.

One of their agenda items is to discuss the creation of a task force to review idling of trucks. One of the commissioners, Gary Fancher, has proposed adding idling guidelines. His proposal includes banning trucks from idling for more than five minutes.

Recently, Hibma said the area was hit with a severe wind, storm and ice storm that closed down Snoqualmie Pass and trucks were forced to find parking to wait out the storm.

“The truck stop, which is the only one before and after Snoqualmie Pass, was full and the overflow of trucks tried to park in town,” Hibma said. “All of a sudden everyone is throwing up ‘no parking’ signs to keep them out, forcing them to park in unsafe areas.

She has also sent a video and information to the mayor’s office in North Bend about Jason’s Law and the importance of providing truckers with safe parking.

“When my husband’s out on the road, that’s the first thing I ask him, ‘Are you parked in a safe place?’”

Copyright © OOIDA