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Truckers decry city’s parking ban

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rocky Mount truckers, for the second meeting in a row, rolled over the City Council's agenda Monday night, lining up to decry the city's new ban on parking big rigs on private residential properties.

Barring truckers from parking at their homes is unfair and unsafe, according to more than a dozen truckers and family members who spoke during the public comment session, stretching the session from the usual few minutes to nearly an hour.

Mayor David Combs told the truckers that the council is working on possible parking solutions. The council discussed the matter during the Committee of the Whole workshop held prior to Monday night's meeting.

Sprinkled among the truckers who spoke against the measure, a few residents spoke in support of the ban.

Resident Gloria Davis asked truckers to invest in their communities by keeping their neighborhoods clean. She said truckers often leave holes in yards and cracks in curbs. Another resident complained about truck batteries and tires being left laying around and loud tractor-trailers coming and going in the middle of the night.

Truckers said they need to park in a safe place and home is the safest spot.

Domino Williams, a local trucker for the past 16 years, said he pays city property taxes so he should be allowed to park his truck in his yard.

Other truckers said a tire cost $500 and an oil change is $200 so they can't afford to pay for parking. One trucker said he performs his own maintenance on his property.

It's the federal government's fault for over regulating how many hours a rig can stay on the road, a trucker said.

"We can't stay gone; we have to come home," the trucker said.

Combs said the council acted because several residents had been complaining about trucks parked in their neighborhoods.

"We didn't wake up one morning and say 'we need to do this,'" Combs said. "We received a lot of complaints."

Trucker Alvin Blount asked truckers and their family members and supporters in the audience to stand up. More than half of the nearly packed house rose in unison.

The council passed the new rule last month. It's set to go into effect Oct. 8 and bans commercial vehicles and trailers longer than 25 feet or weighing more than 10,000 pounds from parking in residential areas.

When the ordinance goes into effect, fines will be $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second violation and $500 for the third violation and everytime thereafter.

The council on Monday also approved several rezoning requests, including properties on Country Club Road, Hunter Hill Road and North Wesleyan Boulevard.

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