Legal Alert from MG+M The Law Firm.
Recently, the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota has been in the national spotlight for a proposed trucking-related regulation. The city, for multiple years, has been considering a truck parking ban on its streets. This restriction would have major consequences for trucking companies and their drivers.
For background, the proposed regulation states:
No vehicle or hitched or unhitched combination, with or without load, which weighs more than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds or is registered for a gross weight of more than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds shall be permitted to stop, stand, or park on any street unless one of the following exceptions is met.
There are only two exceptions to the ban. First, a truck may be stopped during the loading or unloading of individuals. Second, a truck may be parked when it is stopped because of posted signals or signs that regulate the truck’s weight or at the direction of a traffic control officer or police officer. The ordinance technically passed in June, but there was significant opposition to the decision. As such, the proposal has been sent to a committee for further deliberation on potential alternatives, including the creation of truck-only parking areas in the city.
Proponents of the regulation cite parking and traffic congestion in the city as reasons for enacting the ban. However, the trucking industry is strongly opposed to the parking ban. One argument by opponents of the restrictions is that many trucks are owned by small independent contractors who would be forced to either move from the city or leave the industry. Others argue that the city will be negatively affected by such a parking ban. According to Council Member Steve Fletcher: “If everyone bans parking for trucks but they still expect goods and services to be shipped to our city, it becomes impractical to do so because you can’t park within two hours of the city. That is going to have significant economic development impacts.”
Minneapolis is not alone in this effort to ban truck parking on its streets. In 2018, a county in the State of Washington strengthened its truck parking ban by prohibiting trucks from parking on public streets for more than two hours. There was an exception for drivers who were loading or unloading items. Other cities, such as Chicago, have parking permit systems for truck parking on residential streets.
States and even cities vary in their approaches to reducing congestion on their roadways. Based on the national attention on Minneapolis’ proposal, such an approach may spread across the country. It is crucial that trucking companies and their drivers know the regulations in each of the locations where they work, as failing to follow these rules may lead to fines and towing of trucks. MG+M will monitor Minneapolis’ proposal and any similar regulations that arise in other states.