Stanfield council considering semi-truck parking ban

<p><strong>A semi-truck sits parked on Coe Avenue Friday afternoon in Stanfield.</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p>

Within the next month or two, Stanfield semi-truck drivers may find themselves without a place to park overnight within the city limits.

At the Stanfield City Council meeting Tuesday, council members brought up the topic after a complaint came in from an area resident about how she feels they are a safety concern. She said the trucks have repeatedly blocked her line of sight while she exits her driveway, making her feel unsafe. Other complaints have stemmed from the noise they pose in residential areas.

Many council members agreed that the best option might to be to ban semi-truck parking on all streets except Highway 395 in Stanfield, but that further discussion is warranted.

Throughout Tuesday’s meeting, many council members went back and forth on whether they should ban semi-truck parking in all parts of town, or just on Coe Avenue.

According to a Stanfield ordinance, trucks are currently prohibited from driving on any streets other than Highway 395 and Coe Avenue because the weight of the vehicles would be too much for the other roads in town. That being said, those are the only two streets within city limits on which they can park overnight and walk home to their residences.

“I think we should just ban it everywhere,” Councilwoman Pam McSpadden said Tuesday.

Mayor Thomas McCann agreed, stating he doesn’t feel it is fair that they let some trucks park near their residences, but others can’t because the other roads can’t handle the weight limit.

“We are discriminating against other truck operators that live in other parts of town that they can’t park by their house, and yet we are letting these guys do it,” he said. “I think what is good for one is good for all. There should be no parking anywhere inside the city unless it is a designated place.”

As an alternative option, Police Chief Bryon Zumwalt said, 10 years ago, this was still an issue, and someone proposed that they use a piece of state-owned property off of East Locus Street as a place for semi-trucks to park.

“We could level it out and gravel it and have a spot where trucks can park,” he said. “We’d probably have to have more lighting, but we wouldn’t be responsible for theft or damage. It is easy access off of (Highway) 395.”

City council members agreed that it could work, but many also wondered why each of the drivers couldn’t just park their rigs out at the Pilot Gas Station that has overnight semi-truck parking on the outskirts of town.

Zumwalt said some of the drivers live in the area and walk to their residences from their vehicles once it is parked on Coe Avenue. A resident attending the meeting spoke up to state that her parents bought a house in Stanfield specifically because there was a truck stop and that it provided easy access for her brother who is a truck driver.

Council members discussed the idea of just banning parking on Coe Avenue, but City Manager Blair Larsen said they would run into the issue of pushing all of the semi-trucks out onto Highway 395, which would create just as much of an issue.

“My concern is that you have people who are parking on Coe and walking out to their homes that live elsewhere because they are allowed to park on Coe,” he said. “If you shut down the parking on Coe, they are going to start parking on Main and walking back. You would have to make sure that there is some kind of limit.”

Councilman Jack Huxoll made the suggestion that they post a time limit on Highway 395 so that trucks wouldn’t be able to park for longer than a period of two-hours. Many other council members said they thought it was a good idea, but some were uncertain as to whether they could actually enforce the limit.

The Stanfield City Council agreed to table the issue and bring it up at their next meeting on Tuesday, where they will welcome public comment from truck drivers and community members. At that meeting, they will discuss possibly rewriting the current ordinance to include a possible ban on semi-truck parking within the city, with the exception of a two-hour limit on Highway 395.

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