Channel 19

Todd Dills

‘Parking firestorm’ cools into substantive, driver-led effort

| June 15, 2013
Click through this image for a larger version of the actual warning issued to violators of Coon Rapids' parking ordinance, posted on owner-operator Jason Haggard's site and including the ordinance's language.

Click through this image for a larger version of the actual warning issued to violators of Coon Rapids’ parking ordinance, posted on owner-operator Jason Haggard’s website and including the ordinance’s language.

Things have cooled off a little since the heated emotional outpouring over a viral photo of a Coon Rapids, Minn., resident’s note taped to a truck window and urging the parked rig’s driver to get that “eyesore” out of the community. Independent owner-operator Jason Haggard, whom regular readers maybe remember from this post and my discussion with him about his custom-spreadsheet solution to tracking business performance, was born in Coon Rapids, and today he lives about 100 yards from the city’s border,” he says, in a neighboring town.

He even had an “arrangement with a commercial business [in Coon Rapids] to park my truck at their shopping center, and talked regularly with out-of-state drivers that had nowhere to park in the city.”

For some of that time, he wasn’t aware of the ordinance, which passed late last year. Technically, as he points out, according to the language of the ordinance, which you can see a copy of at Haggard’s site, his arrangement with the business put him in violation of the parking ban, as any local trucker who lived within the city limits would likewise be if they parked their truck at their house.

Broad language in the bill, as both Haggard and Wendy Parker have pointed out, runs counter to councilmembers’ stated intents with the measure, and Haggard’s urged any driver who’s interested and/or able to attend a June 18 Coon Rapids council meeting with him, starting up at 7 p.m., to get in touch. This meeting is just part of the city’s regular sort of “open mic night,” he says. “We are trying to set up a meeting dedicated to [the issue of the parking ordinance] at a later date, but it has to go through the typical processes to set one. However, the council did encourage me to get it out there as a primer to a second meeting.

“If you’re from the area,” Haggard continues, “or will be in the area and would like to attend on the 18th at 7 p.m.,” get in touch with him via his blog or Facebook profile.

He adds, “We will try to get people together shortly beforehand to go over a few things before addressing the council.”

Nice to see movement on this issue.

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