Another Minnesota city proposes a truck parking ban
July 16, 2021
St. Louis Park wants to ban truck parking in certain areas, the latest Minnesota city to do so as Minneapolis is also considering a similar ban.
On July 6, the St. Louis Park City Council approved moving forward with an ordinance that allows the city to ban truck parking as needed. If passed on the second reading, the amended ordinance will include a section that essentially gives the city free range to ban truck parking upon request.
Currently, Section 30-153 of the St. Louis Park city code, which deals with general parking restrictions, bans truck parking on residential streets. It also has a blanket parking restriction allowing vehicles, including trucks, to park elsewhere for no more than 48 hours. The proposed ordinance addresses many concerns raised by residents and business owners regarding trucks parking in commercial zones.
The amendment to Section 30-153 adds a section that makes it illegal for trucks to park on St. Louis Park public streets marked by posted signs prohibiting such parking. There are no signs in the city yet. However, the amendment allows residents and businesses to request a truck parking ban in a specific area. A traffic committee will discuss the request and make a recommendation to the City Council. If approved by the council, “no parking” signs will be installed.
St. Louis Park has been considering the truck parking ban since May 2020.
Last year, a traffic study found that residents were concerned about truck parking, not enough parking and sightlines, visibility and safety. The city decided to address only the truck parking issue. It was recommended that the city study the issue.
During the May 2020 meeting, City Manager Tom Harmening acknowledged that truckers have a difficult time finding parking. St. Louis Park’s problem in certain areas is likely due to close proximity to highways. Councilmember Nadia Mohamed, whose father was a trucker, was concerned about adding to the truck parking crisis her father has gone through.
Councilmember Margaret Rog also sympathized with truckers. She recommended alternative truck parking spaces to increase community learning and empathy for truckers. Rog also suggested a dedicated truck parking lot near a Sam’s Club, which the city had yet to explore.
In fact, the entire St. Louis Park City Council was skeptical of a truck parking ban last May. Understanding the truck parking crisis, they set aside the issue and asked staff to come back at a later date with another recommendation.
On May 24 of this year, the truck parking issue was brought back to the council. This time, the tone of the council flipped. Rog mentioned that the situation on County Highway 25 was getting bad and needed to be addressed immediately. The council supported the creation of an ordinance, which was presented during the July 6 meeting.
Although the council agreed unanimously to approve the ordinance, there is some optimism for truck parking in the city.
Rog brought up HR2187, the $755 million truck parking bill in the House, suggesting the city may be able to take advantage of that funding.
Some city leaders mentioned the truck parking ban being considered in Minneapolis. Questions regarding towing referenced the Minneapolis situation. Rog compared St. Louis Park’s ordinance to what is going on elsewhere, including Minneapolis.
The City Council will vote on the truck parking ordinance on a second reading on Aug 2. If passed, the ordinance will go into effect Aug. 27. LL