After hearing from some unhapy truckers, Emmaus Borough Council voted 6-0 at its Sept. 17 meeting to send a controversial “truck-parking” ordinance back to council’s Public Safety committee for some tweaking.
In simple terms, the ordinance that’s on the table would prohibit tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles from parking on borough streets except in cases of loading and unloading.
The Sept. 17 meeting began with the traditional period for public comment and the majority of those who spoke were truckers who had come to the meeting to convince council to drop the proposed measure.
The debate basically split along two lines: the truck drivers who told council that the measure was unfair and potentially damaging to their economic livelihoods vs. the council members who said that the trucks were damaging to borough streets and dangerous to borough drivers due to line-of-sight problems.
This is not the first time that a ban on truck parking has come up in the borough, although certain council members who had sided with the truckers in the past, like Councilman Brent Labenberg, are now in favor of the ban, largely due to the number of borough residents complaining about the trucks.
“I have zero people saying that trucks should be allowed to park in the borough,” Labenberg said during the meeting. “I am just telling you what people are telling me. I am not going to make it up.”
Council president Lee Ann Gilbert put a stop to the discussion, telling those assembled that the ordinance was going back to the Public Safety committee for changes, including revisions to the penalties.
The truck-parking ordinance is expected to come before council again at its Oct. 15 meeting for a first reading, with second reading and possible final approval scheduled for Nov. 5.
Councilman Mike Waddell emphasized that the ordinance would be discussed at Gilbert’s next Public Safety meeting on Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. in Borough Hall. He encouraged those who had expressed concerns about the ordinance to come out and be a part of the discussion.
Councilman Nathan Brown was absent from the Sept. 17 meeting.