Trucking parking bans instituted in Washington state

Parking

Washington’s Pierce County became the state’s second county this month to bar truck parking on residential streets in unincorporated areas. 

Pierce County commissioners voted 7-1 for banning trucks with gross vehicle weights exceeding 10,001 pounds and trailers longer than 20 feet from parking on neighborhood streets between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The ordinance institutes a $175 penalty for violators and hikes the fine for other parking violations from $25 to $50. 

County residents had complained commercial trucks and trailers were being parked and stored in the public right of way in residential areas. This limits sight distance, use of the shoulder and presents noise issues, according to a county staff report.

Most Pierce County cities prohibit parking large vehicles in residential areas, with fines ranging from $250 in Tacoma to $25 in Auburn.

The report notes the ban will further exacerbate Puget Sound’s truck parking shortage, especially with last year’s change in hours-of-service regulations. A 2005 state transportation department study concluded Interstate 5 rest areas and truck stops were near or exceeding capacity. 

One trucker told commissioners the ordinance does not consider the difficulty balancing HOS restrictions, insufficient parking and travel time between truck stops. Truckers have great difficulty finding open spaces at truck stop, especially after 3 p.m., she stated.  

Pierce County allows commercial trucks with GVW of less than 18,000 pounds to be parked within driveways or another location designed for vehicle parking. Trucks with GVW of less than 30,000 pounds can be parked on lots larger than 5 acres in rural zones. 

Earlier this month, Franklin County passed an ordinance banning trucks from residential street parking in unincorporated areas. Trucks weighing more than 14,000 pounds may only be parked in these areas if making deliveries, according to media reports.

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