Input Needed on Potential Commercial Parking Limits

    I would appreciate your input on a proposal that will soon come before the Board that would prohibit certain vehicles from parking on residential streets in the County. Currently,  exceptionally large vehicles like tractor-trailers and dump trucks are prohibited from parking on residential streets. Recently-passed state legislation allows counties to broaden the restrictions placed on certain types of vehicles. 
   During the June 15th meeting of the Board’s Transportation Committee, staff presented a draft ordinance that would implement all of the commercial parking restrictions permitted by the state law.  Vehicles with any of the following characteristics would be prohibited from parking on residential streets:

     •More than 20’ long

     •More than 8’ high, including ac     cessories (such as ladders)

     •More than 102’’ wide

     •Gross Vehicle Weight of 12,000 or more pounds

     •Any trailer or semitrailer except camping trailer, boat trailer or single axle

     •3 or more axles

     •Carrying commercial freight in plain view.

   Pictures presented by staff showed that a typical extended cab pick-up truck is 20.5’ long and would be prohibited. Almost any vehicle larger than the typical family van or pick up would be prohibited.  Boats and trailers would NOT be prohibited (those can be regulated through a community parking district). 
   I was concerned with the breadth of the proposal and asked County staff to research two questions. First, I asked where the prohibited vehicles could be parked if we passed this ordinance and how much it would cost business owners to do so. Many of these vehicles are owned by people in the home renovation or construction industries. Second, I asked for an analysis of the lengths of typical vehicles so we could consider increasing the 20’ length to something longer that would not ban typically-residential vehicles like extended cab pick-up trucks. I expect to receive this report over the summer.
  I understand there are some places in the County where the parking of commercial vehicles has become a safety hazard. I am not at all sure that Braddock District as a whole faces that problem. A less restrictive law would allow individual streets and neighborhoods to apply for specific restrictions without a one-size-fits-all county-wide approach. This broad approach would seem to impose an expensive burden on some homeowners and businesses that may be unnecessary. Please email me your thoughts at, put “Commercial Parking Limits” in the subject line. Or, feel free to call the office at 703-425-9300.  

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