The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to institute a ban on tractor-trailer parking on city streets zoned for residential or commercial properties, but the move has upset those who say people living in the neighborhoods operate some of those trucks.
Residents have long complained about large trucks parked or idling in residential neighborhoods, saying they are disruptive and block sight lines. One south Minneapolis resident sent feedback to the council in support of the ban, saying their neighborhood was dominated by trucks.
“It blocks traffic, being able to see around corners and impacts safety for everyone: drivers, walkers, bikers,” they wrote. “Why do [truckers] get to monopolize the streets at the expense of everyone else in the neighborhoods?”
But trucking industry representatives say the bans punish independent contractors. A statewide 2019 study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation found that truck staging areas are scarce in many parts of the state, but especially in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Trucking Association President John Hausladen said trucks often park in the city when they're picking up or delivering shipments, but that some trucks also belong to residents who work as independent contractors.
"These are small businesses on wheels — men and women who are dreaming about having a truck, growing a business and expanding it," Hausladen said.
As the economy moves towards recovery, Hausladen argued that trucks carrying goods are more important than ever.
“If you limit truck parking and you make it harder for people to park, you’re cutting into their productive days. Those are precious hours that the economy can’t afford to lose right now.”
Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins was one of the authors of the ordinance and worked with colleagues to add language that directs staff to study the truck parking shortage.
"We have to really begin to move our regional partners and industry to come up with some solutions for the small business owners in our community to be able to park their vehicles,” Jenkins said.
The council is directing city staff to work to help truckers find space that can accommodate their vehicles and to work with other cities in the region to help resolve the shortage of truck parking space.
Starting January 1, truckers violating the parking policy will be fined $100 dollars. That number will rise to $250 dollars by 2024.
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