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San Antonio to discuss displacing 1000s of trucks with parking ban

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The San Antonio City Council is set to discuss a plan that would ban semi truck parking on city streets overnight on Wednesday. 

The  new ordinance will be discussed at the Council B Session starting at 2 p.m. on May 15 in San Antonio, Texas.

According to Kens 5, semi trucks are already banned from parking on residential roads, but residents are seeking at least a 1,000 buffer zone on commercial streets near neighborhoods. 

 “They park every day, overnight. A lot of the businesses have had to get rid of their street parking to get ‘No Parking’ signs just to get rid of them. The [drivers] have family members or an Uber come pick them up. They do not live here, they are not part of these businesses. These are just areas they are using because it’s free parking,” explained John Wood, the chairman of the Oakland Heights Homeowner’s Association. “It’s usually packed.”

“We have three major schools in the area,” he continued. “Kids are walking here all the time. The trucks obstruct the view and cause a hazard. The road is extremely narrow, so cars are having to swerve to get around them. You have a fire station right here, so imagine the firetrucks are also swerving. They park by the stop sign and you can see the trucks are also blocking a fire hydrant, not to mention the damage they are causing to the road.”

Trucking advocates argued that truckers have no other options in the city of San Antonio at a Public Safety Committee meeting in March. In that meeting, city staff stated that there are only eight privately owned lots in the area. These eight lots would need to accommodate thousands of now-displaced tractor trailers if the parking ban was to go into effect. 

“The statistics around truck parking are fairly staggering,” David Olson, co-founder of the truck parking chain Riggy’s, said at the March meeting. “A survey conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, American Trucking Association and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association revealed that there was just one parking spot for every 11 drivers on the road today. So, the demand is pretty staggering. Furthermore, a study done by Trucker Path revealed that 75% of drivers have admitted to violating their hours to find parking and 96% admitted to parking illegally.”

The Texas Trucking Association has also responded to the proposed ordinance, stating that: “While we can empathize with the San Antonio City Council’s concerns over unauthorized or unsafe parking, continuing to ban truckers from parking in the very neighborhoods they live in is not the answer. Instead TXTA and its member companies would like to see actions that address the problem – not just the symptoms. And this includes access to safe and secure parking for the one out of 14 citizens in Bexar County that work in the trucking industry.”

“We’ve got to solve for the best interest of truck drivers, while at the same time solving the best interest of homeowners,” said District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez. 

“What we are going to be looking at is either incentivizing truckers to take their trucks out [to the privately owned lots], or maybe finding facilities within city limits to be able to facilitate [parking] and make it easier for drivers,” he continued.

“We are absolutely for the trucking industry,” Wood continued. “We are in support of the 18-wheelers. But we need them to find a place that is safe for their rigs and is safe for the community. This street is not it.”

If the ordinance is approved at Wednesday’s meeting, it will go back to the city council for a final vote in the next few months.

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