Council postpones truck parking project

Commercial trucks will not be allowed to park on any Abbotsford city streets, at least not yet.

Council denied a recommendation to begin a pilot project, allowing long haul truckers to park their rigs overnight on some industrial area roads.

Instead, city staff has been told to provide more details on the proposed street parking project, including what roads would be used, before a decision could be made.

Street parking has been a hot topic, since the report from the Mayor's Task Force on Commercial Truck Parking was made public in May.

Originally the report recommended allowing some residential area parking for local truck owners, however a large public outcry, and safety concerns expressed by both the Abbotsford police and fire services, convinced the task force to abandon that idea.

"The police were absolutely opposed," said Mayor George Peary.

He pointed to a recent incident where a flag person was accidentally run over by a dump truck.

"If a truck can't see an adult in florescent gear, what chance does a child have?" said Peary. "Commercial trucks do not belong in residential areas."

The decision to postpone the industrial area parking was made after several councillors expressed concerns.

"I don't have a lot of confidence in it working," said Coun. John Smith.

He said commercial businesses, some of which were "required by us" to landscape the front of their properties, wouldn't want a semi parked in front of them. He feels trucks need to be on private parking, not the streets.

"Once you open the flood gates, it's difficult to control and police," said Smith.

Many councillors agreed with his arguments adding there were not enough bylaw officers to ensure drivers didn't take advantage of the street parking.

It was also noted that drivers may be reluctant to park on designated pay parking facilities, when the city was allowing free street parking.

Council did approve the remaining three recommendations, to fast track applications for new truck parking facilities, use some gravel pits for truck parking and to encourage maintenance of existing truck parking provided by the Ministry of Transportation.

Council will re-examine the industrial parking project at a future meeting.


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