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Council nixes proposal for residential truck parking

Commercial trucks will not be allowed to park in residential areas of Abbotsford.

Council was set to debate the Mayor’s Task Force on Commercial Trucking report last night, but missing from the recommendations was a proposal for truck owners to park their rigs at home.

When a draft of the report was made public in May, many people voiced concerns regarding residential parking.

“We had a large amount of negative feedback,” said Margaret Thornton, director of planning for the city.

Public meetings were held and responses were collected and brought back to the task force.

Thornton said members of the Abbotsford police and fire departments also raised concerns regarding safety issues if commercial trucks were allowed to park in residential areas.

“It’s off the table,” said Thornton, who was set to present the final recommendations last night.

They include:

1. A commitment by the city to fast track all development applications for new or expanded commercial truck parking facilities;

2.The use of select gravel pits for truck parking;

3. Encourage the retention of existing Ministry of Transportation sites for parking and;

4. Examine a pilot project to allow overnight street parking in industrial areas only.

The pilot project would be a six-month test and be designed for long haul truckers who arrive in town after hours and have few parking options. Parking would only be allowed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Abbotsford Mayor George Peary said the city “does not intend to get into the truck parking business.” Instead, it is trying to make parking available, legally, for drivers.

Peary added the pilot project would be evaluated and if abused, it could easily be cancelled.

He expected a lively debate at last night’s meeting.

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