What do the cities of Lathrop, California, Ostego, Minnesota, and Volusia, Florida, have in common?
Residents in all three cities are fighting to keep new trucks stops from being built because they worry about increased traffic, pollution, and crime.
Lathrop Collects Over 1000 Signatures To Keep Truck Stop At Bay
When residents of Lathrop found out last year that their city had approved plans to build a Pilot Flying J on Roth Road, they organized a campaign (with help from a rival truck stop) and collected 1,100 signatures in order to try to keep the truck stop from being built. The residents argued the Pilot Flying J would bring with it prostitution, human trafficking, and drug deals along with increased truck traffic. In spite of the outrage of the locals, a December vote by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors awarded the city of Lathrop with all of the sales tax revenue from the Pilot Flying J — a move which is expected to help clear away any of the remaining red tape before the final January vote by the Local Agency Formation Commission.
Ostego Locals Fear Truck Stop Will Lower Property Values
In Ostego, Minnesota, the mere rumor of a new truck stop was enough to motivate residents to draw up a petition to fight it. The nearly 400 Ostego locals who signed the petition say that a truck stop would bring down their property values, increase crime, pollution, and traffic. City officials say that residents will be allowed to speak their minds at a public meeting.
Florida Counties Fight Over Who Bears The Burden Of Providing Truck Parking
In Florida, Seminole County and Volusia County are both playing the “not in my backyard” card and trying to shove the “burden” of providing truck parking off on the other county. Residents of Seminole County have been badgering the Florida Department of Transportation to shut down the busy Longwood rest area for years, complaining about noise and crime. Says Karen Gardner, who works next door to the rest area: “There’s a lot of activity that goes on there that is not family-oriented. It’s just not an ideal place to have a rest area, and we always worry about the kids.”
A 2015 FDOT study proposed closing down the Longwood rest area and opening up a truck stop in Volusia county. Volusia Councilman Doug Daniels (along with many other city officials) strongly oppose any sort of truck stop in his county, referring to them as a “haven for noise, crime and pollution.”
Orlando-based trucker Charles Davis summed up the need for the counties to work together to find truck parking solutions to prevent crashes: “It’s either build more truck stops or build more funeral homes.”