News

Trucks banned from parking on city streets; RVs next?

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

After a delay of several months, the Federal Way City Council has –– over the continued protests of Councilman Jack Dovey –– formally banned large commercial trucks from being parked on streets at their drivers’ homes over.

Dovey was the lone dissenter in the seven-member council’s vote on banning parking of commercial vehicles on residential streets.

“We’re legislating them out of their property rights,” he said of truck drivers who until early 2004 were allowed to park their rigs in their driveways.

“Economically, we’re taking away somebody’s business and forcing them to change the way they do things.” he said. “If someone lived where a covenant said they could park, now we’ve made it so they have to move out of Federal Way or find a new place to park.”

“I just have a fundamental problem with the law. But we voted 6-1 so, hey, I’ll uphold it.”

However, in response to the ordinance’s passage, which was based largely on the argument that commercial vehicles parked along residential streets present a traffic safety hazard, Dovey said he will put recreational vehicles on an upcoming agenda of the council’s Land-Use and Transportation Committee, which he chairs. He said RVs present the same safety hazards to traffic and playing children that large commercial vehicles do.

The council originally was scheduled to decide on the street-parking issue last spring following meetings between Dovey’s committee and residents who wanted the ban.

The committee didn’t make a recommendation to the full council, which in turn sent the issue back to the committee in April for more work.

In January, the council ordered truckers to stop parking their rigs in the driveways at their homes after some of their neighbors complained the trucks were unsightly, noisy and were a safety hazard. That council action prompted truckers to start parking on the streets, sparking more complaints from other residents.

Until it closed March 23 to make way for a new commercial center, the Flying J’s truck stop near the State Route 18-Interstate 5-Enchanted Parkway junction was a place where trucks could legally be parked overnight in Federal Way.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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