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Regulating oversized vehicles on city streets

Recently, my office has fielded many calls from the La Jolla community regarding oversized vehicles parked for long periods of time on residential streets. Concerns associated with the parking of these vehicles include traffic safety, security, littering and community ambiance.

In response, as chair of the city’s Land Use and Housing Committee, I have scheduled a hearing April 20 at 2 p.m. to discuss proposed regulations on oversized vehicles parking on residential streets. The meeting will take place on the 12th floor of the City Administration Building, 202 C St., San Diego, 92101. I support these regulations and invite you to participate in the hearing April 20 to voice your opinion.

The proposed regulations would do the following: Prohibit oversized, non-motorized and recreational vehicles from parking on public streets for a period longer than four hours. It would also prohibit oversized vehicles from parking on public streets between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on any day and prohibit them from parking within 50 feet of any intersection.

These regulations would also apply to the placement of any stationary storage container on public streets, alleys, park roads and park parking lots any time.

There would be a few exceptions to these rules for oversized vehicles actively engaged in loading or unloading, government and public utility vehicles, school buses involved in the transportation of students or disabled persons during the course of a designated activity, and commercial loading zones. The regulations would also offer temporary permits for the recreational vehicles of residents or resident guests for a maximum of 48 hours.

No one could get more than six of these permits in a given year.

Oversized vehicles in the proposal are defined as any vehicle that exceeds 22 feet in length or 7 feet in height. Recreational vehicles are any camp trailer, camper, trailer coach, or house car, as defined in the Vehicle Code as well as boats, boat trailers, dune buggies, and other motorized or towed vehicles used solely for recreational purposes. The ordinance would also apply to stationary storage containers.

Although many of the calls we receive have to do with issues of aesthetics, there are serious traffic concerns that will be addressed by the proposed ordinance. Oversized vehicles typically have a high profile and when parked close to an intersection, may impair the sight distance for vehicles attempting to enter the main street.

The parking of these vehicles on narrow streets may also impede access and block visibility of oncoming traffic on curves. In addition, the size of oversized vehicles and the inability to see inside the vehicle can sometimes make residents of a neighborhood uncomfortable with these vehicles parking on their streets.

I believe that these regulations are fair and proper to maintain the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I would very much like to receive input on this issue from the La Jolla community.

If you are unable to attend the hearing, I ask that you send me an e-mail at scottpeters@sandiego.gov, or call Betsy Brennan in my office at (619) 236-6611.

City Councilman Scott Peters represents District 1, which includes La Jolla.