Ordinance restricts large trucks from parking in downtown Marquette

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Large trucks will no longer be allowed to park for long periods of time on North Street, in downtown Marquette, after the council unanimously amended the code of ordinances pertaining to parking limitations at its May 8 meeting.

The ordinance change applies to any vehicles requiring more than a four-ton license and greater than 10 feet in height. It prohibits people from parking—unattended—a motor truck, semi-trailer or other motor vehicle with trailer attached on North Street unless the vehicle is engaged in the delivery or receiving of merchandise or cargo.

The ordinance also states “no such vehicle shall be left standing or parked upon any street or alley between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. with the engine, auxiliary engine, air compressor, refrigerating equipment or other device in operation.”

The council said safety necessitated the change.

“It’s the simple fact that we’re getting into summer when the trucks are parked out here by the post office, and you can’t see to get out,” said councilwoman Cindy Halvorson at a previous meeting. “I’m worried someone’s going to get into a wreck because of it.”

The Canadian Pacific Railroad is planning to construct new buildings in the community, which it says will limit the number of large trucks in Marquette, but that will take time, said mayor Steve Weipert.

“Hopefully, when they build their new buildings, they won’t have the big trucks,” he said, “but until then, we want something [to limit them].”

Public hearing set for proposed zoning change for railroad property

The council agreed to set a public hearing for Tuesday, June 12, to consider the second and final readings of Ordinance 402, which would change the zoning district classification for a portion of current Canadian Pacific Railroad property from A1 - limited agricultural to C1 - highway commercial, as long as the railroad obtains the proper permits. The property is located south of the railroad tracks and north of Bloody Run, not far from the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre.

The city said the railroad would like to put a new building on the property, which is part of Canadian Pacific’s plans to make Marquette a central hub.

The council approved the first reading of the ordinance at its March meeting.

North Street dead end discussed

Resident Craig Kaber, who lives on the west end of North Street, where it dead ends, approached the council about ways to limit the number of cars who unwittingly travel down that portion of the street, only to find there’s no way out. 

“I’m fed up with it,” he said, noting that he’s seen as many as 13 cars travel down the dead end in one hour. “I’ve seen semis get halfway up the hill, motor homes with cars, pick-up trucks with boats.”

Kaber said part of the problem is that drivers, many of whom are likely from out of town, don’t see the dead end sign. The sign is currently placed partway up the hill, and he suggested moving it.

Councilman John Ries said the complaint is not new.

“It’s an inconvenience and a safety issue,” he said. “We’ve moved signs how many different times, and we’ve tried all kinds of signs. It’s helped, but hasn’t solved it.”

The street committee agreed to meet with Kaber to discuss possible options.

Contract extended for bench evacuation route

The council approved a contract extension for Bacon Concrete for the bench evacuation route project. Bacon Concrete asked to have until June 27 to complete the work, citing poor weather conditions this spring.

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