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Council considers parking ordinance change

MURFREESBORO – After previously mentioning the topic a few times at prior meetings, the Murfreesboro Town Council voted here Oct. 24 to hold a public hearing next month to discuss proposed changes to the town’s truck parking ordinance.

Mayor Hal Thomas suggested they make an addition to Murfreesboro’s parking ordinance in order to address the issue of parked 18-wheeler trucks obstructing the road in various parts of the town.

“No truck shall park in the streets controlled by the town in any neighborhood zoned residential. Truck is defined as a motor vehicle with dual wheels and three or more axels,” Thomas suggested, noting the Council still had time to refine those regulations before they take a vote at a later date.

The mayor also suggested the penalty should carry a fee of $50.

During the public comment period of the regular town council meeting, Dr. Shirley Vinson shared her concerns about truck parking in residential neighborhoods. Vinson stated there were a few 18-wheelers routinely parked in her neighborhood located across the street from Riverview Elementary School.

Both the truck cabs and the trailers they sometimes leave behind, she explained, obstruct the view for passing traffic and pedestrians.

“We have school-aged children in the area,” Vinson said, noting her concern about danger to the children if they’re in the roadway.

The parked trucks also make it difficult for larger vehicles, such as school buses and ambulances, to safely maneuver down the street.

Vinson’s neighbor also spoke briefly in public comment to echo the same concerns.

Town Attorney Buddy Jones said he would look into whether the town parking ordinance would affect neighborhoods in the town’s extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) as well. Vinson’s neighborhood is located within the town’s one-mile ETJ area, and she said the NC Department of Transportation maintains the roads there.

The Town Council voted unanimously in favor to hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed ordinance changes at their next regular meeting which will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14.