The Aurora City Council during its study session Monday advanced to a regular council meeting a proposal by the mayor to crack down on semi-tractor trailers and RVs parked illegally in the city.
Denver recently changed its ordinance on semi-tractor trailers and RVs. Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman wants his city to be at least as strict as Denver when it comes to semi-truck and RV parking.
Under the proposed changes:
* The impoundment of an unlawful vehicle parked on the public right-of-way would occur after 24 hours, rather than 48 hours, after being cited as an unlawful vehicle.
* The weight limit for semi-trailers, trailers, and commercial vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length is reduced to 6,000 pounds from the previous 7,000 pounds to be consistent with the Aurora’s UDO and Denver’s weight limits.
* Recreational Vehicles cannot be parked on the public right-of-way for more than 24 hours during any seven-day period, lengthening the limit from five days.
Poor planning led to parking crunch
Coffman has been criticized by truckers for the parking policy. Coffman says there is nowhere in the city for truckers to park due to poor planning during the development of warehouses in Aurora.
Denver’s new ordinance, adopted in May, became known as “the poverty tow bill.” But Denver leaders said from the beginning that they, like Aurora, had developed problems with semis illegally parked all over town. They stressed they were not targeting people who live in their RVs or cars with the ordinance.
Truckers: Nowhere to park
An over-the-road trucker told Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman recently that the city must make parking available for semi drivers. “Aurora, Denver and Commerce City are the biggest shipping hubs in Colorado,” Charles Bolin wrote in an email to the mayor. “Unfortunately, all three lack safe truck parking.”
Bolin explained that trucking companies get their loads from brokers. Truckers must follow their rules when pulling their loads, he wrote in the email.
“These brokers require us to give them access to our electronic logs, cell phones and in some cases the vehicle itself to monitor our location and determine who is at fault if cargo arrives damaged,” Bolin explained. “Almost all of these brokers mandate we park close to shippers and receivers when waiting for pickup or delivery. Failure to be within the required radius eight hours prior to pick up or delivery is considered a service failure for most brokers.”
Insurance companies that provide cargo insurance for brokers will refuse to cover loads being hauled by a carrier with too many service failures, Bolin said.
Coffman’s proposed ordinance still must be approved twice more by the City Council to become law.
Officers required for tows
Last week, a resident referenced a law in Aurora that requires police officers to be present when a vehicle is towed. Aurora City Attorney Pete Schulte said that stems from a state law. The reasoning behind it is that an inventory must be taken of the items in a vehicle before it is towed. He said that is to protect everyone from the vehicle owner to the city to the towing company. Schulte also said the city is expected to provide safety to the tow trucker driver if they are directing them to make a tow.