Vote set for July 15 on overnight truck ban in Pierce County, Wash.

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 7/14/2014

Professional truck drivers are urged to speak out about an overnight truck parking ban in Pierce County, Wash., which is scheduled for a final vote on Tuesday, July 15.

Recently, Pierce County Councilmember Jim McCune co-sponsored a bill, which would prevent trucks from parking on residential streets from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The vote on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, in Tacoma, Wash. There is a link on the site that allows the public to comment on the proposed ordinance before a vote is taken.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association encourages truck drivers who live in the area or deliver in the area to also contact the Office of the Pierce County Council at 253-798-7777, or email Hugh Taylor, who drafted the proposed ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would ban trucks from parking in residential neighborhoods from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The proposed ban, if passed, includes a $175 fine for those violating the ordinance.

McCune told Land Line recently he proposed the bill based on his constituents’ complaints, citing nuisance and safety issues, because of trucks parking on residential streets.

“We tried to craft this so that it would be as least restrictive as possible; they just can’t park their rigs overnight,” McCune said. “We aren’t banning them from parking in commercial or industrial areas or if they are parked in a rural area, but we don’t want them parking in suburban areas.”

Hugh Taylor, who is the senior legislative analyst for Pierce County, said other neighboring counties have passed similar ordinances banning truck parking. Although there has been significant growth in the county in recent years, Taylor said he wasn’t sure if there was adequate truck parking to account for the number of trucks delivering to businesses in the county.
“We haven’t done any type of analysis to study whether there is adequate truck parking in the county,” he said. “Some believe that restrictions in other counties are forcing trucks to park in urban areas, but we aren’t sure.”

Taylor said he has constructed a map showing where truck parking would be restricted and where truck drivers could legally park if the ban is passed.

McCune said the proposed ban mainly seeks to dissuade small trucking operations, not properly permitted, from parking several tractor-trailers along neighborhood streets.

“My constituents don’t want to walk outside and see a semi parked in front of their houses,” he said. “We are not a semi parking lot.”

Earlier in July, commissioners in Franklin County, Wash., passed a ban restricting trucks weighing more than 14,000 pounds from parking on residential streets unless they were making a delivery. The ordinance applies to unincorporated areas in Franklin County.

A survey is currently underway by the Federal Highway Administration. The FHWA was mandated to study truck parking as part of Jason’s Law, which was included in the current highway law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.

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