A proposed Aurora law that would crack down on truckers parking illegally in the city has raised the ire of at least one driver.
On Monday, Mayor Mike Coffman introduced legislation at a study session that would make stricter Aurora’s laws regulating how long truckers can park. Denver recently changed its truck parking ordinance and Coffman wants Aurora’s to be at least as strict. ”You got to love how this works,” driver Charles Bolin said in an email. “Denver doesn't want trucks parked on the street outside of warehouses so they ban the trucks. We go to Aurora because it's the only other place left and they decide they don't want us so they pass an ordinance kicking us out, too.”
Under the proposed Aurora 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 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. He says there is nowhere in the city for truckers to park due to poor planning during the development of warehouses in Aurora.
But Bolin said poor planning is only part of the issue. “There are organizations like ‘Strong Towns’ that have been pushing cities to remove language from city building codes requiring new construction to account for parking,” Bolin said. “This is to accommodate the push for public transportation and ‘walkable cities.’”
But what’s good for pedestrians apparently isn’t great for truckers. “If we could refuse any load without consequence from our employers cities would treat us better,” Bolin continued. “If our goods don't come in, the warehouses and industry that relies on us would have to shut down and relocate. That's a lot of jobs and tax revenue that would be gone overnight if trucking companies could not retaliate for refusing a legal dispatch.”
Trucks make more traffic than you think
Bolin explained just how much traffic one warehouse can create. “A warehouse with three docks operating at full efficiency can load over 48 trucks across two eight-hour shifts. Most warehouses have a lot more than three docks. Ten docks could load one hundred trucks in ten hours. You can't have that kind of traffic coming in and out of a city on a daily basis and not account for parking.”
Coffman has acknowledged the parking shortage, but Bolin does not believe he is doing enough. “There is no question that there are a lack of truck stops that have overnight parking to support the expansion of distribution warehouses in the area and we are encouraging more to be developed but that will take time,” Coffman said in a previous email.