PALMVIEW, Texas (KVEO) — The city of Palmview drew some heat online when they reminded residents of a city ordinance that prohibits the operation of any truck, semi-trailer or road tractors on streets.
“It’s unfair since, like I said, we’ve been taxpayers our whole lives,” said Erick, a truck driver who lives in Palmview. “And it just seems pretty not fair for all of us here.”
The ordinance has been in place since 2005, but it was not strictly enforced until recently.
“They said it’s been here since 2005, and it hasn’t been here since then; and if it has, they didn’t tell anybody,” said Erick.
The actual city ordinance is somewhat difficult to find. It is not available on the city’s website, but it can be found on this website here, which publishes legal codes for cities across the country.
The city ordinance can be found by clicking the arrow next to ‘TITLE VII: TRAFFIC CODE’, clicking the drop-down arrow next to ‘CHAPTER 71‘: TRAFFIC SCHEDULES’, and then finally by clicking on ‘SCHEDULE III. TRUCKS, TRACTORS AND SEMI-TRAILERS PROHIBITED’.
Below is a screenshot to make it easier to view it.
“I think the ordinance before, in the prior administration, wasn’t a focus because we really didn’t have, at that time, the infrastructure being built as we do now,” said Eric Flores, Palmview City Attorney.
Flores told KVEO the city is putting in a sewage system and wants to protect the roads being repaved.
Truck drivers ruffled at the suggestion that they were the sole cause of the damage to the cities roads.
They said that the roads were old, and not maintained well.
When potholes happen, “all they do is just patch it up,” said Erick. “They keep patching it up, and it rains like it is right now and a car runs over it, it doesn’t take that much weight to mess it up again.”
The actual truck portion of an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 25,000 pounds alone. In comparison, the average car weighs around 4,000 pounds.
Residential streets aren’t meant to frequently handle the weight of an 18-wheeler, even just the cab portion.
“Those are only built an inch, inch and a half to two inches thickness because it is a residential neighborhood, it is not meant to be commercially driven,” said Flores.
The average highway in the U.S. is made with 11 inches of concrete, According to a study by the United States Geological Survey.
According to the American Concrete Pavement Association, a typical residential road in the United States is supposed to be between five and seven inches thick, over double the estimate from Flores, but half of the thickness of a road that is designed to withstand constant use by heavy vehicles like a highway.
While all vehicles cause some degree of damage to the road every time they drive over it, the heavier the object, the more wear it does. And 18-wheelers are some of the heaviest vehicles around.
Truck drivers fear that the stricter enforcement of the ordinance means they won’t be able to park their trucks on their property anymore, and the city hasn’t provided them with an alternative.
“They don’t have a truck stop, and if they would you leave your stuff behind hoping that people don’t steal your stuff, break into it or tag it or something like that. It ain’t fair for us,” said Erick.
“There are private locations within the vicinity of Palmview where they can park their truck where it will be secure, and they won’t have that worry of it being broken into,” countered Flores.
KVEO only found four truck stops that allowed people to park their 18-wheelers overnight in the vicinity of Palmview.
Flores did tell KVEO that the city was looking into more options for alternative placement for trucks in the future.
The fine for breaking the ordinance caps out at $300.