California SUV Ban Hidden in Plain Sight

040804_Sign_6K1.jpgTwo years ago, Slate had a piece noting that California weight restrictions against vehicles over 6,000 lbs prohibited SUVs from many streets, but nobody realized it because people thought the signs were for delivery trucks. (A Hummer H2 weighs 8,600 lbs.) It seems most of the ordinances were written with trucks in mind, not SUV’s, and so the secret SUV-ban went unenforced.

From the article:

This isn’t an arbitrary weight limit. 6,000 pounds has long been a recognized dividing line between light and heavy trucks. (For example, the Clean Air Act defines "heavy duty vehicle" as a truck with a gross vehicle weight "in excess of six thousand pounds.") But local officials either don’t realize they’ve banned big SUVs, or they’re hoping no one will make a stink. …

[T]hese weight limits generally predate the 1990s SUV craze that lured suburbanites out of their lighter sedans and minivans. It’s the vehicles that have changed, not the law. These ordinances remain on the books and they’re not obscure. They’re clearly marked on signs in many California cities.

Since this piece is a bit dated, it is unclear whether authorities actually started banning SUV’s, started rewriting laws, or continued to ignore the problem. Does anybody know if there are any New York-area equivalents?

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Brooklyn Bridge’s SUV Ban Hidden in Plain Sight

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It isn’t just in California where SUV’s are secretly banned from certain roadways. Right here in New York City, many SUVs are banned from the Brooklyn Bridge, but nobody seems to know it. Following on a Slate article about a similar phenomenon in California that came to our attention on Tuesday, Streetsblog correspondent Jason Varone snapped […]

Today’s Headlines

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2,000+ NY Bridges "Deficient," 9 NYC Spans Lowest Rating (NYT, Sun, News) Current Weight Limits on City Bridges Would Ban Large SUVs (Streetsblog) Heavy Trucks Contribute More to Road and Bridge Wear and Tear (TSTC)  I-35 Survivor Recounts Terrifying Plunge (NYT) Results Are In: How Many SUVs Are There on Your Block? (Brian Lehrer) 9th […]