Friday, March 24, 2006

Supervisors OK Trailer Parking Ban

According to Thursday's Potomac News, the Prince William Board of Supervisors has approved a partial-county ban of Boats, Trailers, and Motor Homes from public streets.

The ban only covers the eastern portion of the county. I am dissappointed that those of us in neighborhoods elsewhere in the county don't have at least the option to vote as a community to ban the parking in our narrow streets.

I am a strong proponent of property rights, but since the roads are not part of a person's property, I think a community has a right to decide what types of vehicles will clutter up the roads of the neighborhood. In my community, if large cars park on both sides of the street a fire truck could barely fit by.

Worse, large trucks and motor homes make it difficult to see children who might dart out into the street, and are a general distraction when trying to navigate the roads.

I think boats, RVs, and trailers belong in people's driveways or back yards. Oddly, many HOAs have rules prohibiting the parking of these items in yards, sometimes making exceptions if they are hidden behind fences.

There apparently is still hope for a wider ban on parking. According to the article:

Thomas Bruun of the Prince William County Public Works Department told supervisors his department could bring a proposal to ban utility trailers before the board in the future.

The Virginia General Assembly gave counties the authority to restrict parking of utility trailers and other commercial vehicles during this year's session.

Staff initially included utility trailers in Tuesday's resolution, but withdrew them because it would be more appropriate to use the new legislation to ban them from parking on county streets, Bruun said.

That law goes into effect July 1, along with the rest of this year's General Assembly legislation.

Nohe said he expected a resolution to come before supervisors by late summer.

I think the PWC supervisors allow our county to do way to much. We spend too much money, provide too many services, and just have too large a workforce and too large a scope for our local government.

However, common-sense parking restrictions on public streets is a perfect example of what local government should be considering.

I didn't understand the reason why they restricted the parking ban to the southeast. The article said:

John Morrison, a Dale City retiree, said he agreed with the ban and the way the supervisors came to the decision by holding community meetings for residents in the Coles, Neabsco, Dumfries and Woodbridge districts.

Community meetings were not held in the Gainesville and Brentsville districts, where people live on larger tracts and have room to park their boats on their property.

But if the northwest communities are MORE capable of keeping their boats and trailers off the streets, wouldn't that be a good argument to ban street parking in THOSE areas? Why ban parking only where it is needed most?

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