Council members limited where auto transport trucks can load and unload vehicles to one location in town, after years of complaints from residents about loud noises and lingering smells.
Phipps Ocean Park, near the South Fire Rescue Station, is now the only permitted location for car transporters to load and unload vehicles. At a council development review meeting on December 15, city officials agreed to ban auto transport trucks from carrying out the task along Brazilian Avenue.
Previously, loading and unloading zones were marked in the north, central and south areas of the city, but trucks were unloading in the wrong areas, Mayor Danielle Moore said.
According to the city’s “Car Carriers” webpage, trucks have always been allowed to load and unload cars in the Phipps Ocean Park parking lot, but previously they were allowed to do so in the 300 block of North County Road. and the 300 block of South Lake Drive.
“I don’t know how we do a better job of communicating with these carriers,” said Moore, who added that she had recently seen trucks unload vehicles in front of The Breakers and the Palm Beach Towers condominium complex.
“You’re only hurting your own business because the more you do it, the more you upset the residents,” she said.
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Years of complaints about large trucks being parked on narrow streets, lingering gas smells and loud noises during late hours of the night led to the Dec. 15 decision, officials said.
During construction of the city’s marina and the South Boulevard Bridge, which is still underway, trucks were temporarily allowed to unload and load along the 400 block of Brazilian Avenue, Capt. Will Rothrock said. , public information officer for the Palm Beach Police Department. .
Council members agreed that Phipps Ocean Park is the best location due to its 18-acre space and mostly empty parking lot.
“I think if we can’t get to the bridge where we wanted to go, or the causeway until Phipps is under construction, I would recommend that we move these (car transporters) to Phipps,” the councilwoman said. Bobbie Lindsay. “There is a very large area, it is not a budding residence, and we are already doing a truck there. There is room for two.”
Councilor Julie Araskog expressed concern that loading trucks could create problems for residents of condominium buildings along the two-lane Ocean Boulevard, such as Reef Condominium and residences at Sloans Curve, where trucks may have to enter or exit when passing.
“In terms of loading and unloading, most of it goes to the condos,” Councilman Lew Crampton said. “Most of the people in the condo own the cars that get on and off these (trucks). I’m sure we can accommodate them there.”
Councilor Ted Cooney noted that the busy season for vehicle transport trucks on the island will end in a month and resume in the spring.
Thinking long-term, he said, trucks aren’t a good fit for the city, and like a doctor’s appointment or a car repairman, residents can walk across the bridge to pick up or drop off their vehicles.
“It’s an event that happens twice a year and I don’t know if the idling of trucks spewing gas and fumes and noise at odd hours…is something that belongs here,” Cooney said. . “While that may be an inconvenience on two occasions for a resident, I don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
Besides Phipps Ocean Park, residents will only be allowed to pick up or drop off their vehicles at private properties or land off the island, Rothrock said, which some residents don’t like.
A representative for Autos on the Go, located along Evernia Street in West Palm Beach, said the majority of its Palm Beach customers want their vehicles delivered directly to their homes.
Violations of the policy change will result in citations, Rothrock said, adding that police will focus their enforcement efforts on educating motor carriers.
According to city ordinances, car carriers who block traffic lanes or provide service before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. are also in violation.