Editorial: Parking only tip of oil icebergThe answer of where to put dozens of semis while they wait to unload saltwater in a disposal station about 10 miles north of Dickinson is only a small part of a much bigger problem that comes along with all of the benefits of an oil boom that is keeping western North Dakota economically stable.
The answer of where to put dozens of semis while they wait to unload saltwater in a disposal station about 10 miles north of Dickinson is only a small part of a much bigger problem that comes along with all of the benefits of an oil boom that is keeping western North Dakota economically stable.
However, Dunn County’s decision to put no parking signs along the gravel road that leads to the pit isn’t a solution for a parking crunch. It leaves big rigs with nowhere to go and may lead to an even-more dangerous situation.
Without waiting in line, there is no way to know when it’s a driver’s turn to unload, a driver who was ticketed recently told The Press. So trucks would have to constantly drive back and forth to check, or face the $20 fee.
Driving out of county until it is their turn to unload can not be the solution to this problem. As many area commuters can confirm, Highway 22 doesn’t feel like the safest road to be traveling on.
There are often lines of traffic, and many are semis. Putting more on the road when unnecessary is a safety hazard.
Dunn County officers are issuing $20 parking tickets to those who park illegally and while it doesn’t seem like much, it also means they lose points off of their CDLs. Once those points are gone, so is the ability to legally drive a semi. This could result in the loss of experienced drivers.
There is also the issue of fuel, and what that will cost the drivers and companies.
Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy said the parking problem is an issue the drivers, oil companies and landowners must work out amongst themselves.
We disagree. Cooperation is the key.
Counties and communities have to cooperate. Before rushing into an idea, we suggest officials talk to others that may be impacted.
For now, we believe the semis should be allowed to park on the gravel roads in Dunn County and not sent astray.
Decisions have to be made in a reasonable amount of time as populations, vehicles and businesses continue to grow and grow in the area. However, a couple of phone calls could create a solution or spark ideas not thought of.
Have you heard news of board approval earlier this month for several man camps designed to house about 4,500 people in North Dakota’s oil patch in Williams County?
Western North Dakota has to work together.
The Press Editorial Board is Publisher Harvey Brock and Editor Jennifer McBride.