A recent ordinance has done little to prevent semi trucks from parking along a neighborhood street in Cape Coral, Florida, and residents of the neighborhood say they want police to do something about it.
Ordinance 30-21, an ordinance prohibiting tractor trailers from parking on certain streets between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., was passed back in April in response to an influx of truck parking on city streets. Now, four months later, both truck drivers and local police are paying the ordinance very little mind.
“They [police] are supposed to be coming by and ticketing and I simply ask them to warn the people and to have them move their trucks and go park where they used to park,”said Jack Schwartz, a man who resides in the neighborhood and owns a few empty lots on Southwest Fourth Street, where the illegal truck parking is the most concentrated.
Locals believe the issue started when one or two trucks figured out they could park on the street for free, rather than pay for parking elsewhere. Now, they just wish the drivers would “go back to parking wherever they used to park,” and stop leaving trucks parked and empty for days or even weeks at a time.
In fact, Schwartz says that he directly confronted a truck driver he found parking on his property and was told to “mind your own business.”
“I questioned one who was parked on my property and asked him what he was doing. He told me to mind my own business,” Schwartz said to Fox 4 News.
Schwartz says that the truck driver also threatened him, so he contacted police, who told Schwartz to leave the trucker alone. Because of this response, Schwartz says that he has begun pressing law enforcement to enforce the new ordinance in hopes that they may one day listen.
“I just like the trucks to go back to parking wherever they used to park. I mean, they are big giant semi-trucks backed up the back of my house and it’s just insane,” Schwartz said.
In fact, even industry leaders are baffled by law enforcement’s lack of action on the matter. Norita Taylor, Representative of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, says it is very odd that police have not been enforcing the new ordinance, particularly in regards to the trucks that have been left parked for days or weeks.
“I am surprised that law enforcement hasn’t either tried to contact the owners of the trucks or simply tow them away if they are parked illegally,” she said.
“If they do park somewhere, that is not a truck stop or not a rest area; it would more than likely be an on-ramp to a highway or an abandoned lot,” she continued.
“It’s not ideal or safe for a truck to be left in a residential area for days or weeks,” she said. “ I’m not understanding that myself, quite frankly. It doesn’t make sense to just leave a truck vulnerable to being towed, vulnerable to being stolen if there is cargo in it.”
Taylor has since encouraged residents to continue contacting police and urge officers to enforce the ordinance.
The Cape Coral Police Department has not commented on the issue.