Residents living in east Houston are sounding the alarm over what they’re calling an abundance of 18-wheeler trucks driving through and parking in their neighborhoods. During Tuesday’s public comment session, they said it’s been causing noise disturbances, air pollution, and safety risks to their community.

Netta Trahan, a member of the East Houston Civic Club, said due to the lack of zoning laws in the city, they are seeing residential property being purchased and used as parking lots in their neighborhoods.

“I have a neighbor behind me. He put those trucks in his yard. He parked them in his yard, and he rips them up at any time of night, (causing) loud noise and emissions,” Trahan said. “We’re in danger because, after a while, it’s going to bring crime. Truck stops bring crime, prostitution, and drugs. We don’t want that here.”

Just two weeks ago, an 18-wheeler hit and killed an elderly woman in the area. Houston police said the truck driver was not at fault because they had the right of way and the woman was not in a crosswalk.

However, Trahan says the high presence of 18-wheelers still poses a safety risk to people walking in the area.

“They come through here at like 30, 40, 50 miles per hour. I almost got run over right over there at the blue store. (They) never stopped at the stop sign, (and) kept going. If that store hadn’t been there and there wasn’t a ditch, I wouldn’t be here today talking to you,” she said. “The trucks are taking over. We are crying out for help.”

Vicky Martin with Super Neighborhood 4950 said during public comment that they are seeing trucks driving through streets designated as “no-thru trucks” without conducting business or making a delivery.

Trahan claims the trucks are also causing damage to the roads, which are not built for this type of traffic. Ultimately what Trahan would like to see is more enforcement from HPD or ordinances created to reduce the number of semi trucks coming through their neighborhoods.

However, this is a fairly new issue brought to the city council’s attention. Mayor Sylvester Turner asked the city’s legal department to look into this issue to begin the process of investigation and discussion.

“I do agree with you, especially in east Houston and in other places. It is getting out of hand. We’re on the same page there,” Turner said in response during public comment.

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