From frenzies to fines

October 2019

Tyson Fisher

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New reports regarding local truck parking are too numerous and small in scope to report on individually. However, what each of these news items means to the underlying national problem is too significant to ignore. Below is a roundup of the latest truck parking-related news items from across the United States.

Spanish Valley obsession

One may argue that suggesting residents of Spanish Valley and Moab, Utah, are utterly obsessed with a proposed Love’s truck stop is a bit of an exaggeration. I beg to differ.

In just one month, I found 10 letters to the editor or opinion pieces in either The Times-Independent or Moab Sun News specifically about the proposed site of a new Love’s. This has been going on for the better part of the year so far.

Headlines ranged from “Doctor: Truck stop location bad for babies” (more on that below) to “Give Love’s a chance.” Of the 10 letters, five were against the truck stop, four were for the truck stop and one was rather neutral.

With so many emotionally charged letters, one would think a radioactive dump was being relocated to the area. A single truck stop is dividing a relatively small Utah town. It has been the ultimate truck stop debate.

Opposition has gotten so extreme that doctors are bringing up arguments I have never heard of before. A practicing OB/GYN for 27 years argued “literature is replete with studies that indicate air pollution leads to low-birth-weight infants and an increase in birth defects, most notably heart defects.”

On the other hand, there are people like Randy Terry, who wrote this to Moab Sun News:

“Large buses and trucks parked along the traffic ways invite safety concerns that are escalating to levels of risk to pedestrian and vehicular traffic that local officials should be nervous about being at least partially responsible for. If a trucker or bus driver that couldn’t find a place to park somewhere in the Moab area falls asleep while driving through, and there are damages and or injuries, now Moab officials can be considered at least partially responsible.”

Randy goes on to say that anyone who bought property in the area should have known about all applicable zoning laws. So if someone bought property near a commercial zone, what were they expecting?

The truck stop debate near Moab, Utah, has reached a level unlike any I have seen so far. It’s a great case study explaining why you are having trouble finding a parking space.

A clearer path

Resistance to a new truck stop may seem par for the course, but it is not necessarily always the case. Several towns across the nation welcome a profitable business that helps keep our greater economy moving.

Here are a few places considering a new truck stop with what appears to be little to no resistance:

  • Hagerstown, Md., off of SR 63 (70 potential truck parking spaces).
  • Lathrop, Calif., off of Yosemite Avenue near the 120 Bypass (121 spaces).
  • Houston, British Columbia, north side of Highway 16 at Butler Avenue (pending a feasibility study).
  • Watertown Township, Mich., near Interstate 96 and Interstate 69 intersection (103 spaces).

In August alone, Love’s added nearly 300 truck parking spaces to the infrastructure with three new locations in Brownsville, Texas; Atkinson, Ill.; and Lake Wales, Fla.

Trend in parking fines

There has also been a trend within local governments across the nation to either add or increase truck parking fines.

The Walmart in Williamsburg, Ky., will boot the window (also known as a barnacle) and hit the trucker with a $500 fine. If the driver does not pay up within an hour, the truck gets towed.

In Clark County, Nev., trucks illegally parked will face a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. Truckers also will receive a 72-hour notice to get out. After that, the truck is getting towed.

A bill in the New York State Legislature will nearly double truck parking fines in New York City. If passed, trucks parking on residential streets overnight will be fined $400 on the first offense, up from the current $250 fine. Subsequent offenses within six months of the first will cost you $500 each. A separate bill will add a $1,000 fine to trucks parked or unattended on streets of a city with a population of 1,000,000 or more, i.e., New York City.

Lastly, truckers in Joliet, Ill., have been able to receive a permit that allows them to park their truck on the street up to 48 hours. Apparently, no one in city hall knew about it until someone asked for an application. Now that they know, city officials want to get rid of it after a 3-0 vote. This is the same Joliet that tried to stop a Love’s from setting up shop. Shocker. LL

Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.