A neighborhood in Georgia is working on a map of “safe, secure” truck parking for resident truckers of the neighborhood because their rigs are “a problem.”
Barbara Neely, head of the Lake Arrowhead neighborhood watch in Macon, Georgia, says that the trucks trucker residents park along the streets make it hard for neighbors to maintain and care for their homes.
“We’re speaking of truckers that bring them home every day. We are their parking garage for free! It destroys our street, it destroys the infrastructure, it also causes chaos and problems with neighbors,” she explained to 13 WMAZ.
“My husband kept saying to me, ‘I smell gas, I smell gas.’ Lo and behold, where the trucker had parked, he found that the gas pipe was broken,” she continued. “It’s a problem, it is a problem.”
Neely say that the neighborhood watch has handed out flyers to truckers that warn them of the law that has technically been in place since the 1960s, but the flyers have done little to change the behavior of drivers who just want to park near their homes after work.
“We’re speaking of truckers that bring them home every day. We are their parking garage for free! It destroys our street, it destroys the infrastructure, it also causes chaos and problems with neighbors,” Neely continued.
“Our hearts are certainly with our truckers. They bring goods and services and demands. We understand that it’s great to walk out your door, get in your truck, and go to work. That’s convenient! However, that’s not what the city of Macon is trying to do. They’re not trying to place a hardship on the truckers, they’re trying to help all of us.”
Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning’s Executive Director, Jeff Ruggieri says that officials have only recently started to fine the truckers despite the longstanding law because of the number of complaints they were getting about the parked rigs.
“We got to the point where it was taking weeks and weeks at a time where they couldn’t get to other things,” Ruggieri said. “It was more of a public service announcement to just say we’re gonna be a little more proactive now to get ahead of this instead of working from behind.”
“We’re charged with protecting neighborhoods and protecting communities. This is one of those where some people’s business and their livelihood kind of intersects with community character, and that creates a difficult situation for us at P&Z,” he says. “However, quality of life and creating a community where people feel safe is something that we take seriously every single day.”
Ruggieri says that he would rather have conversation with people willing to help make a change than enforce fines or court appearances, but that the parked trucks are a safety issue.
“As long as we get a verbal ‘Hey we’re trying to work towards compliance here’, we’re trying to find a reasonable resolution,” Ruggieri says.
Ruggieri is even working on a custom map for truckers highlighting nearby truck parking. He says there are at least 500 truck parking spaces available for around $75-100 a month.
“You can park your vehicle in a safe, secure place and still be in compliance with the rules, and your neighbors can sleep.”
The map is expected to be finished in about a week.