Two weeks ago, the Warner Robins City Council voted to ban truck parking. The ban prohibited trucks from parking on vacant lots, within city limits, for more than two hours.
The decision 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 was 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.
“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.” Parker explained.
“Fifteen minutes later, he called back and said the city would proceed ‘very cautiously’ regarding the ban.”
Less than a week later, the Warner Robins City Council agreed to revisit the ordinance and to listen to drivers’ concerns.
Parker encouraged drivers to show up to the Monday night city council meeting. She put out this message to drivers, “ATTENTION PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS: The Warner Robins City Council meeting on MARCH 4th, 2013 at 4pm needs you! The Mayor has asked for truckers to show up so you can speak to the council about the two hour parking ban – this is your chance to let city government hear your concerns and needs!! The meeting will be held at City Hall, 700 Watson Blvd. Warner Robins, GA.”
Drivers wrote emails and made calls. All their hard work paid off.
On Monday, March 4, the Warner Robins City Council voted 5-0 to overturn the ban.
“We said from the start we didn’t want to do anything to damage the working guy,” Councilman Mike Davis told Macon.com. “And that’s the way it kind of came out, that we were against truck drivers. And it’s nothing further from the truth.”
“We’ve decided that we’re going to let property owners be responsible for their property,” Davis continued. “If they have a problem with their property or if we have a problem with the property, we’re going to let the property owners go through means of taking care of the problem.”