OOIDA member weighs in on California town's truck parking problem

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 10/8/2013

A California town is debating what to do about truck and trailer parking in its community.

OOIDA Member Shirley Van Cleave and her husband, Charles, of Jurupa Valley, are owner-operators with a single tractor-trailer rig that they use to haul specialty cargo. She said she can see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, they were among the first residents in their neighborhood to join in a petition against another neighbor who was parking 14 dump trucks on a half-acre lot in the residential community.

On the other hand, as truckers, she said she and her husband’s business has been “picked on and pushed around” by city code enforcers for parking their single vehicle in front of their property.

“I can understand why they wouldn’t want a dump truck company or a flatbed company running out of a half-acre piece of land out in the middle of a housing district,” Van Cleave said in an interview with “Land Line Now.”

“But us that are owner-operators, we do our best to abide (by state laws on idling/noise reduction).”

The issues came to a head on Oct. 3, when the city council held a four-hour meeting to discuss a proposed truck ordinance.

“(The neighbor) had 14 dump trucks in a half-acre lot,” she said. “We were not happy campers. We were first in line when our neighbors came to us and said do you mind if we complain. I really understood where they were at.”

Van Cleave said she and her husband were recently issued a $700 ticket for illegally parking in front of their own home when her husband pulled into the driveway to pick her up and take her to dinner.

“They wanted to say, ‘No you can’t bring your tractor home, no you can’t bring anything home,’ but it’s the only place we have,” she said.

Even though the truck was running, the couple still got a parking ticket. Van Cleave said she sent the money in along with a letter to the judge explaining the situation.

“I didn’t get an apology from the woman, but at least we got our money back,” she said.

Following Thursday’s meeting, the city council reportedly directed assistant city manager George Wentz to draft a new proposal on the issue, according to a report in The Press Enterprise. Wentz could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Van Cleave said she left Thursday’s meeting feeling like the council has made some movement to recognize that “truckers are people.”

“We’re just people making a living,” she said. “We’re proud of the fact that what we do is a necessary part of the American economy.”

“Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this report.

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