North Bend councilmember weighs in on truck parking issue

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just one day before the public hearing proposing to stymie future truck parking developments in North Bend, Wash., Land Line has obtained communication between a constituent and a city councilmember addressing concerns with the proposed amendment.

In a post on a closed Facebook group called North Bend News and Trading Post, Councilmember Jonathan Rosen expressed his perspective on truck parking in the city. Land Line confirmed with Rosen that the post was his.

In his message, Rosen claims that the city of North Bend has found itself battling a regional issue by itself. Repeated attempts to get regional and federal partners to work with the city have been unsuccessful. Rosen states that the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Port of Seattle, the private truck industry, King County and the State Legislature have all been asked to assist in locating more parking along the Interstate 90 corridor.

Rosen points out that North Bend’s general fund to cover all operating costs is $6 million, compared to the state of Washington’s $16 billion. North Bend has asked the state to assist during periods of interstate closure as the local police department has had to deal with trucks on its own.

According to the post, city code allows trucks to park alongside public roads during emergencies that shut down the pass. However, Rosen said he believes that a permanent solution needs to be found.

Expansions to the lone truck stop do not appear to be part of that solution unless the state steps in.

“Expanding the truck stop without any assistance from the state would be disastrous,” Rosen wrote. “To be honest, it wasn't until the City of North Bend passed an ordinance that prohibited truck parking on local streets (except during I-90 closures) that the state even took notice of our problem.”

In addition to the added workload for local police, Rosen points out that truck traffic has caused wear and tear on the city’s roads and infrastructure. Overall, he states that the truck stop has put an “oversized burden” on the city with a population of approximately 6,000 residents.

Rosen also pointed out that the state is exploring other options and suggested concerned citizens ask county, state, federal and port representatives to get involved with the issue.

“Please know that your state legislators are currently evaluating various sites along the I-90 corridor for additional truck parking because we all recognize additional truck parking is needed,” Rosen explained in his post. “It simply is a matter of location.”

North Bend’s public hearing on the proposed amendments is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, at the City Hall Conference Room located at 211 Main Ave. North. Written comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on that day. Comments can be emailed to Gina Estep of the Community and Economic Development Department at GEstep@NorthBendWA.gov.

Related stories:
Truck stop expert: Parking in North Bend, Wash., a 'gridlock cancer'
OOIDA pushes back hard against truck stop ban near Snoqualmie Pass 
City at 'pivotal point' near Snoqualmie shuns increasing truck parking 

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