By Pat Jenkins
The days of overnight parking of semi-truck trailers in unincorporated areas of Pierce County are numbered.
The County Council has voted to ban semi-trailers from being left overnight along roadsides in residential neighborhoods of certain unincorporated areas of the county.
In those locales – including outside of Eatonville and in Frederickson, Spanaway, South Hill, Parkland, Midland and Gig Harbor – the parking restriction will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on public streets.
Council members cited the safety of pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists as reasons for the eight-hour ban, which affects commercial drivers of semi-trucks.
Councilman Jim McCune said he received “repeated complaints from people in these parts of the county, asking us to do something to keep their streets clear” of the trucks and trailers, which he described as “unwanted obstructions.”
Violating the new rule, which takes effect Aug. 1, will result in $175 fines issued by the county Sheriff Department.
McCune noted the impact on truck drivers could have been worse.
“Rather than an all-out ban that could have potentially had negative effects on businesses and the economy, the council reached this compromise, and I’m pretty pleased with the result,” he said.
Councilman Rick Talbert Another sponsor of the ordinance, Councilmember Rick Talbert said the issue of where tractor-trailers can be parked overnight – there are only a limited number of those locations, he observed – will be addressed by the council separately.
“The fact is that neighbors (in areas where the ban will be in effect) were experiencing an increase in these incidents, and something needed to be done to help curb that,” said Talbert. “And the drivers who were offloading their trailers weren’t just catching a few winks and moving on. They’d leave their trailers parked in these neighborhoods indefinitely, creating not just an eyesore but significant safety concerns, as well.”
Jim Tutton, vice president of Washington Trucking Association, attributes such concerns to a lack of facilities where trucks can be parked overnight, according to trucking industry reports.
Washington Trucking Association is an advocate for interests of the trucking industry.
Pierce County’s overnight ban was approved by the council July 15. Seven days later, the council passed a revised version of the legislation. The initial version’s language unintentionally expanded the ban to include other types of large work trucks, council members said. They amended the legislation to specify semi-trailers.