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BREAKING NEWS

Ordinance addresses truck parking problem

By Staff | Nov 14, 2009

Winnebago truckers were hoping they’d be able to park at home so they could rest after a day on the road, while the police just wanted fairness for everyone.

Thanks to the efforts of Councilman Rick Johnson, both sides got their way Tuesday night.

Trucks not being permitted to park on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. has been a hot issue for years.

So, Johnson — who also is a trucker — went to work on changing truck parking regulations.

His proposal puts restrictions on trucks parking on truck routes and creates a category for residential streets.

“I wrote the language to deal with individual problems instead of making everyone suffer for what one or two people do,” says Johnson.

Denny McClain says there are parking lots behind businesses on Main Street where truckers may park, but spaces are limited.

“All that we’re asking is that we can bring our trucks home and park them on our property. Give us that opportunity,” he says. “How can I come home on my off-duty time?”

Federal law requires truckers to shut down and rest after they have driven a certain amount of hours.

McClain says Amboy, Blue Earth, Vernon Center and Mapleton are being lenient when it comes to truck parking.

“Put restrictions on us. Enforce all the other parking issues. We’ll abide by that. We have no place to go,” he says.

Toby Pudwill, who is employed with ITC Midwest, says the crew truck he drives is licensed for 18,000 pounds, which is 300 pounds over the limit on the street he lives on.

“I just want permission to drive it to my house and park it in my yard,” he says.

Under the changes, vehicles exceeding 5 tons per axle may not drive on residential streets, nor may any vehicle over 1 ton per axle park on residential streets, and all semi-trailer trucks are prohibited from residential streets.

The new ordinance allows all city-owned vehicles, emergency vehicles defined by state statute and service or delivery vehicles on any street.

In addition, trucks cannot block alleys or driveways, park within 75 feet of an intersection, park on a street for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period, have refrigerated units running within 150 feet of a residence, or have an engine running for more than one hour.

McClain and Pudwill were in favor of the changes.

Police Chief Bob Toland also was pleased with the ordinance because it achieves what the department wanted.

“This ordinance treats everyone fairly and equally, and should take care of many of our problems,” says Toland. “We’ve always been stuck with an ordinance that’s been very difficult for the police department. We were making determinations of things we didn’t want to do.”