CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A Cape Coral street turning into a parking lot for semi-trucks. People who live on Southwest Fourth Street want police to enforce the local ordinance.
In April, the City of Cape Coral adopted Ordinance 30-21. The ordinance prohibited commercial vehicles from parking on certain streets between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The city enacted the ordinance due to an influx of large vehicles and trailers on city streets.
Jack Schwartz said the ordinance had done little to help. Trucks will park for days, even weeks. He continuously calls authorities about the issue.
He said the police have been polite but ineffective.
“They are supposed to be coming by and ticketing and I simply ask them to warn the people and to have them move their trucks and go park where they used to park,” he said.
Schwartz feels it started when one or two trucks realized they could park for free on the street.
He said the parking drama reached another level when a driver parked on his property.
“I questioned one who was parked on my property and asked him what he was doing. He told me to mind my own business,” Schwartz said.
He said the man threatened him, so he called the police. He was told to leave the truck driver alone.
It has left Schwartz with only one option. He has to continuously press law enforcement to enforce the ordinance and make the street semi-truck free.
“I just like the trucks to go back to parking wherever they used to park. I mean, they are big giant semi-trucks backed up the back of my house and it’s just insane,” Schwartz said.
It wasn’t just Schwartz that was concerned about semi-trucks on the street. Norita Taylor, Representative of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said it’s bizarre law enforcement hasn’t cracked down on the issue.
“I am surprised that law enforcement hasn’t either tried to contact the owners of the trucks or simply tow them away if they are parked illegally,” she said.
Taylor said she doesn’t understand why a driver would leave their trucks vulnerable.
“It doesn’t make sense to just leave a truck vulnerable to being towed, vulnerable to being stolen if there is cargo in it,” Taylor said.
She said if a driver needs a place to stop, it is usually on the highway.
“If they do park somewhere, that is not a truck stop or not a rest area; it would more than likely be an on-ramp to a highway or an abandoned lot. It’s not ideal or safe for a truck to be left in a residential area for days or weeks,” she said. “ I’m not understanding that myself, quite frankly.”
Taylor urged locals to continue calling the police to enforce the ordinance when the trucks are parked illegally.
We reached out to the Cape Coral Police Department but haven’t received an answer.