Last week, the Warner Robins City Council voted to ban truck parking, calling it a “nuisance” and an “eyesore.” The ban prohibits trucks from parking on vacant lots, within city limits, for more than two hours.
“(They’re)using our vacant grocery stores as just a parking lot to sleep overnight and it’s just not something we really want to exhibit in our city,” Warner Robins Council member, Mike Brashear told News Central Georgia.
CDLLife reader Mike Mazz said this in response to Brasher’s comments: “It will also be an eyesore when the town has no food, gas, or stocked shelves at Walmart and everything else delivered by trucks.”
The decision, and the councilmen’s comments, outraged many drivers and they didn’t take it lying down. More than 75 emails were sent to Brashear and 25 were sent to the town’s mayor Chuck Shaheen.
OOIDA also encouraged its members to join the fight. “If you live in, or drive through, Warner Robins and park your truck in the community south of Macon it’s imperative for you to voice your concerns about a plan to ban large trucks from parking overnight in vacant lots in city limits,” their Call to Action stated.
Although the city chose to adopt the ordinance and impose a ban, the battle is far from over.
CDLLife contributor and trucking blogger Wendy Parker, who grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia, was disappointed in the decision her hometown’s leaders made. In an effort to sway their decision, Parker did what she does best — she wrote. She wrote numerous emails and blog posts, encouraging the council members to recognize the symbiotic relationship cities and truck drivers share.
“The truckers need the cities as much as the cities need the truckers,” Parker said. “We have to find a relationship that everyone can be comfortable with.”
Parker sent a personal appeal to Mayor Shaheen, who promptly replied via phone.
“We talked a little bit about a few ideas. He mentioned that he was working on getting some land donated for parking purposes out on 247. He told me he would call his City Attorney to see if there was a way to table the ban until other arrangements could be made, and would let me know what they came up with. I honestly didn’t expect to hear from him for a few days,” Parker explained.
“Fifteen minutes later, he called back and said the city would proceed ‘very cautiously’ regarding the ban. He also said he would like a month to review and plan for other alternatives, and that he was taking this on as a personal project. He is truly concerned about the parking issues, as well as the safety and welfare of the truckers.”
“You tell em’ Chuck is for trucks. We’re going to do everything we can to provide a compromise, this is my personal project right now,” Mayor Shaheen said.
“We’ve created a bigger problem than we had,” he said. “We need to come up with a solution to this. They (council) should have come up with a solution before we created another problem.”