By Jason KUROSU
After the CV Town Council covered the latest local developments at its Thursday night meeting, including the ceremony for the war memorial wall at Two Strike Park this Sunday, the upcoming town council election (applications for candidacy available until Oct. 9) and various community fundraisers, the council saw to an emerging issue within La Crescenta: parking restrictions for big rig trucks throughout the community, particularly near freeway overpasses and underpasses. The council ultimately voted to present a proposal for a parking ordinance to the L.A. County board of supervisors for its Nov. 26 meeting.
Past council meetings have touched upon concerns of big rig trucks parked for long periods of time around the community, with particular emphasis on the effects on parking availability and driving safety.
“It’s not only an eyesore, it’s a hazard waiting to happen,” said CV council member Harry Leon, speaking to the potential danger of big rigs parked next to parking lot entrances and exits, particularly on busy Foothill Boulevard.
The council explored avenues for establishing a more restrictive parking ban for trucks parked for long periods of time, similar to the ordinances currently enforced in Altadena, among other cities. David E. Oboza of L.A. County’s Dept. of Public Works visited the meeting to apprise the council of its options and present Altadena’s 2008 ordinance as a possible framework for a local parking ban.
Altadena’s parking restrictions do not allow for commercial vehicles exceeding 10,000 pounds to be parked between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless the driver can prove he was involved in a local business activity (necessary loading and unloading, local construction, maintenance, etc.).
Oboza recommended a 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. restriction, which would only allow truckers to park at night and sleep without disrupting the community during business hours. Ultimately, Altadena’s ordinance became an overnight ban, though the increased restrictions were introduced more in response to RVs than big rig trucks. California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Miller said the penalty for violating the Altadena ordinance was a daily $63 ticket.
Currently, signs exist prohibiting parking in designated areas from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. for no more than 30 minutes at a time. These signs have been posted since Sept. 11, although council members complained that the signs were doing little to deter trucks from parking overnight.
“They park right underneath the signs,” said Leon. “And they leave the truck for a couple of days, too.”
Oboza said the current signs are a “temporary solution” until the council can bring its concerns to the board of supervisors.
The council was adamant on designing an ordinance in line with strict ordinances in place in surrounding cities.
“Everyone has this tight enforcement except for us,” said Corresponding Secretary Robbyn Battles. “That’s why we’re seeing this happening all of a sudden in our community.”
The council unanimously voted to recommend a ban at the Nov. 26 board of supervisors meeting. They will propose two versions of a potential ordinance. The first proposal would be for a 24-hour ban. Should the county not agree with the recommendation, the council’s second proposal would be for restrictions between 1 p.m. to 10 a.m., leaving a three-hour window in which trucks could park.
The hours were chosen with respect to parking availability for Crescenta Valley High School students and the nearby overpass on Ramsdell Avenue, a frequent site of parked big rigs.
“We’ve got to preserve Crescenta Valley High,” said Battles. “They need the parking.”