Police in the town, situated between Barbours Cut and Bayport Container terminals near Houston, have taken a turn in willingness to issue citations to drivers parking within city limits. La Porte was recently in the trucking news following a public meeting over a proposed new truck stop in the town (Pilot subsequently withdrew its plans to build) and what Land Line called a “‘get in and get out’ approach when it comes to truck drivers stopping in their community.”
The city has an ordinance against truck/trailer parking, too.
Jeffery A. Tippit, Safety Director with Clark Freight Lines, headquartered in nearby Pasadena, Texas, wrote in to warn any drivers thinking of parking in La Porte anywhere except the two existing truck stops to think again. Tippit, also an officer with the city of La Porte’s Police Department, says traffic enforcement officers were ordered by the City Council to take a hard line on parking. “The city has taken the approach that any truck parking in a parking lot of a business, other than a truck stop or terminal,” Tippit wrote, “or the destination of the truck, is off the truck route and subject to a citation for such. Before this, there was an understanding that as long as the trucks were bobtailed, there would be no issues raised.”
Trucks have been cited at Kroger, Burger King, Whataburger and even at the “hotel/motel parking lots when [the drivers] are staying at such places,” Tippit added. Some of his own drivers at Clark have received warnings for such activity there, too.
“There has since been a directive from the Chief that any truck seen parking at any business other than the truck stops,” Tippit wrote, “will be advised to leave the area and cited for such violations. The PD officers do not agree, however they have followed the order of the Chief as he was directed by City Council to enforce the City Ordinance as written.”
A subsequent phone conversation with Tippit revealed that a City Council meeting held following his note to Overdrive saw police representatives saying citations would be the officer’s discretion, but that drivers seen parking would be asked to leave.
In any case, thanks to Tippit for the FYI. “I wanted to let your journal know so that other drivers can be made aware of this situation and not have to suffer the issuance of a citation as some of my drivers have,” he says.
Anybody have issues in the city in the recent past?