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Big rig owners want Calexico to tear up ordinance banning truck parking on city streets

July 19, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Local big rig owners will try to overturn a city ordinance that prohibits truckers from parking their rigs on city streets near their homes.

The truckers contend truck lots on the outskirts of the city are unsafe for their rigs. They want to park their rigs near their homes, where they can keep a close eye on them.

Recently two truckers, Enrique Delgado and Francisco Torres, asked the City Council for a reason their rigs are not allowed to be parked on the streets.

City Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa told the truckers that big rigs are relegated to industrial or commercial zones of the city.

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If heavy-load rigs are found parked in residential areas, the owners are subject to $55 fines, according to the Police Department.

Mayor Victor Carrillo told the men he wouldn't want big rigs on his street or on streets near schools for safety reasons.

Hinojosa said the rigs are banned from residential zones because the streets were not designed to support the heavy weight of the rigs and because they bring traffic and safety concerns.

Delgado said the weight of the trucks is not an issue.

"My truck is 15,000 to 17,000 pounds and you have garbage trucks that use the street that weigh 60,000," he said.

The biggest concern for Delgado is the safety of his rig because it is his livelihood.

"I've been a truck driver for 30 years. If I could do something else I wouldn't be before you today," Delgado said Tuesday.

He told the council his truck has been repeatedly vandalized in truck parking lots and stripped of parts.

"I lost a $550 seat," he said.

"If something like that happens," he drew an imaginary square with his index fingers and pointed at the square, "they have these signs that say the owners of the lots are not responsible."

Torres asked the council if truckers would be allowed to park near their homes if they paid a fee.

The council and Hinojosa did not address that specific idea but did tell the men they could submit a petition to the Planning Commission to overturn the ordinance.

If they get enough signatures on a petition, the commission would stage a public hearing to consider the ordinance.

Torres said the ordinance needs to be changed because the majority of truckers work their trucks "close to 24 hours a day" and only need to park them near the house for short intervals while they take a nap or a break.

"We'll bring that petition before the commission so that we can be heard," Delgado said.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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