City bans big rigs from yards
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Drivers will soon have to find somewhere other than their Rocky Mount homes to park their commercial trucks and other big rigs.
An ordinance approved Monday night by the City Council bans the parking of commercial vehicles longer than 25 feet or weighing more than 10,000 pounds on residential property.
Recreational vehicles of the same dimensions will have to be parked behind a residence.
During a public hearing, resident Ruth Battle said her son is a truck driver who has nowhere but her property to park his truck when he's home on weekends. She said criminals run free but if the new rule goes into effect, truckers won't be able to park at their own homes.
Battle said trucks bring everything from construction supplies to food into the city.
"What are we going to eat when truckers can't come to Rocky Mount?" Battle asked.
Rocky Mount will soon be home to a CSX trains-to-trucks terminal, which is expected to be a logistics hub. Such an operation could attract more truck drivers to live in the area.
Councilman Reuben Blackwell said considerations should be made for current and future drivers.
"And some of these drivers own their trucks so they're small business owners," Blackwell said. "The Chamber of Commerce should be involved in providing solutions."
Councilman Andre Knight said he has seen where some drivers park on streets in neighborhoods, knock down poles and create mudholes. But that's individual drivers, not all of them.
Knight and Blackwell said they support the ordinance, but with a 90-day period before it's implemented.
"Where you see a truck, you know that person is working and paying their bills," Knight said.
Councilwoman Chris Miller, who made the motion to pass the ordinance, said truckers can find a safe place to park at shopping centers like Cobb Corners on Jeffreys Road.
"I don't know if Cobb Corners is ready to take on every truck in Rocky Mount," Blackwell said.
After the back-and-forth discussion between council members about whether the stay period should be 30 or 90 days, the council voted for 90 days.
"I will accept 90 days if it will get it passed," Miller said.
The council also directed staff to work with truckers to find a parking solution.