Truckers hope for answers in Hickory
Hickory Hills truck owners can weigh in next Thursday night on stricter enforcement of truck-parking restrictions when the city council debates the issue.
The discussion will be part of the council’s committee meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 8652 W. 95th St.
Truck owners are concerned that if the city begins to strictly enforce an existing ordinance governing weight limits for trucks, they no longer will be able to park their vehicles at home.
That’s a major inconvenience for many truck owners because they would have to park the vehicles elsewhere. Also, many truck owners keep expensive equipment in their vehicles and prefer the security of having them parked at home.
A handful of truck owners attended last Thursday’s meeting but were told to hold off until the committee meeting to voice their concerns.
The issue gained traction in November when the police issued tickets to several overweight trucks. The citations caught owners by surprise, as they had not previously received them.
The police department has placed a moratorium on ticketing truck owners for weight violations until the city council makes a decision on the matter, Police Chief Alan Vodicka said.
However, some of the truck owners who attended last Thursday’s meeting did so after receiving a letter from a truck owner saying the tickets for overweight trucks would be written beginning in January.
“A lot of the people (at the meeting) were thinking, ‘Hey, we’re going to get tickets,’” Howley said.
Currently, the city has an 8,000-pound limit for trucks parked on residential streets. The weight limit for trucks bearing “B” plates is 8,000 pounds. Trucks over that weight carry a “D” license.
While many larger pickups, including dually trucks (pickups with dual wheels on the rear axle), do not exceed the weight limit, box trucks typically do.
Box trucks often are used by companies that haul appliances or furniture. They also are used as moving trucks.
The issue comes down to “what constitutes a box truck? You know it doesn’t belong when you see it,” Mayor Mike Howley said.
Vodicka said the city council likely would have to rewrite the existing ordinance or make exemptions for some truck owners.
“It’s an ordinance that’s been on the books,” Vondicka, who added that the regulations may originally have been put in for aesthetic reasons.
Howley agreed with Vondicka’s assessment, adding that’s important to give police clear direction before they begin citing trucks for weight violations.
He said the city council likely does not intend to outlaw vehicles that carry a “D” plate—those that weigh more than 8,000 pounds.
Howley added that city council would address instances in which several trucks are routinely parked at a home—such a home-based landscaping business.
In other business at last week’s city council meeting:
Aldermen approved increases in the water and sanitary rates, after receiving a 15 percent increase from Chicago, who supplies the water.
Monthly water rates will increase 11 percent from $6.54 to $7.26 per 1,000 gallons. The monthly water line charge will increase 11.5 percent from $4.30 to $4.80.
The monthly sanitary sewer line charge will increase from $3.45 to $4.00, and sewer water rate will increase from $1.16 to $1.40 per 1,000 gallons.
The increases will be effective as of the Feb. 1 billing period.