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The Minneapolis City Council is prohibiting truck parking in the city.
The council made the decision July 23, passing a measure that adjusts the city’s ordinance banning vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds from parking on streets in residentially zoned areas, but did not present weight restrictions on parking in other areas.
The controversial matter had moved back and forth between the full council and its Transportation and Public Works Committee.
Accompanying the measure were a few amendments, including a system of gradual fines for truck parking violations — starting at $100 from Jan. 1, 2022, until Dec. 31, 2022, and moving up to $150 from Jan. 1, 2023, until Dec. 31, 2023. Fines thereafter would total $250.
The initial proposal suggested fines of $150 that would increase to $250 beginning in January 2023.
Complaints from residents and businesses about parked trucks have to do with obstructed signage and fire hydrants, reduced parking availability for guests of local businesses, noise and emissions from idling trucks, encroachment into bicycle and car travel lanes, and litter.
“I am so grateful for everyone’s support for this ordinance,” Council Member Phillipe Cunningham said. “There has been a lot of work that has gone into that.”
Cunningham represents Ward 4, which is located in the northernmost part of the city and has made environmental justice a community priority.
Also included in the passed ordinance is a measure directing the department of Community Planning and Economic Development to work with interested parties to develop commercial truck parking spaces in the city. Commercial property owners and railroad companies should be included in this effort, according to the measure.
An additional provision approved directs the city’s Intergovernmental Relations staff to engage with the League of Minnesota Cities and regional partners to discuss the challenges of truck parking in the Twin Cities area and consider potential policy recommendations.
The provisions were promoted by Council Member Jamal Osman, who represents Ward 6, which is home to a substantial East African community. He said many of his constituents operate trucks for a living.
Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins expressed gratitude for Osman’s support of the amendments.
“We have to really begin to move our regional partners and the industry to come up with some solutions for the small business owners in our community to be able to park their vehicles,” Jenkins said. “This is a step in that direction.”
She represents Ward 8, which is south of downtown Minneapolis.
A third approved provision asked city staff members to deliver a report to the council in the fourth quarter of 2022 detailing the development of truck parking opportunities in Minneapolis, the progress of education and enforcement efforts, and the results of intergovernmental work to find regional solutions to truck parking.
Images show vehicles parked on the same street over a five-year time span. (Dillon Fried/Assistant Park Systems Manger, City of Minneapolis)
The restrictions on truck parking state all vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds are prohibited from parking on any city street unless:
• They are actively loading or unloading.
• They are stopped at the direction of a police officer.
• They are in a zone with signage allowing parking of vehicles with increased weights.
Trucking is opposed to the parking restrictions.
Minnesota Trucking Association President John Hausladen said the measure provides “no meaningful city resources” to address the need for adequate truck parking.
“The Minnesota Trucking Association is extremely disappointed with the action of the Minneapolis City Council today,” Hausladen said. “We should be looking for ways to provide more safe parking for truck drivers, instead of pursuing a policy that would diminish an essential industry and do real economic harm to the city.”
Lack of available truck parking is a pressing issue for the industry, ranking No. 3 on the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Industry Issues report.