On Wednesday, the Minneapolis City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee approved a citywide semi truck parking ban that includes amendments that would seek to provide truck parking opportunities.

The council voted on July 14 to approve an amended city ordinance to ban all truck parking within the city limits by a 5 to 1 vote. Per the ordinance, no vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds is allowed to park on any city street and vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are forbidden from parking in residential areas. Exemptions are made for vehicles parking while loading or unloading passengers, or drivers who are complying with specially posted signs or the direction of a traffic control or police officer.

Fines would start at $100 for parking violations as of January 1, 2022 and would increase to $150 on January 1, 2023. After January 1, 2024, the fine would increase to $250.

After outcry from members of the trucking industry, several amendments were added to the ordinance that could clear the way for more legal parking for trucks in the city. See the four amendments below.

  1. Directing Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) staff to work with all interested parties to develop commercial truck parking in the City of Minneapolis. Outreach should be made with commercial property owners, institutions, and railroad companies to find potential sites for parking. While parking lots are not a use that is representative of the adopted Minneapolis 2040 plan, the need for this use is important enough that staff should endeavor to develop as many parking spots is as feasible in the city.
  2. Directing Intergovernmental Relations staff to reinvigorate regional efforts at finding legislative and operating solutions for commercial truck parking in the Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area.
  3. Directing staff to deliver a report to the City Council in the fourth quarter of 2022 detailing the development of parking opportunities, the first year’s experience with education and enforcement, and the results of regional inter-government efforts to find regional solutions to truck parking.

The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) opposes the parking ban, pointing out that it could force truckers to park outside city limits and could delay timely deliveries.

The MTA also says that the ban would cause hardship for small business truckers:

Many of the trucks parked overnight are owned by independent contractors who live in Minneapolis. These small businesses, many of whom are minority owned, would have no viable alternative for overnight parking. This ban could effectively force many of these hard-working residents to choose between their livelihood and the place they call home. With an existing truck driver shortage we simply cannot afford to have qualified drivers leave the industry.