Stories

Barrio Logan Truck Crash Endangers Neighborhood Residents

August 9, 2019

La Prensa SD Newsdesk

(Photo / Environmental Health Coalition)

Early Friday morning, a heavy duty diesel truck crashed in Barrio Logan on a block with homes and businesses. It crashed into a power pole causing a power outage for over 4000 service users. The truck then skidded across lanes and crashed into parked vehicles. After coming to rest, the truck burst into flames directly in front of a home.

The truck burst into flames a few feet from a home where a truck parked in the driveway was scorched. A family living fewer than 100 feet away awoke to find an inferno on their block. Firefighters responded rapidly saving the home and nearby business. The Navy’s family support center is directly across the street.

This incident is not uncommon in Barrio Logan where discriminatory land use allows homes and industries to exist side by side. Diesel trucks from the Port of San Diego and waterfront businesses have historically used residential streets in Barrio Logan exposing residents to diesel pollution

In December 2018, the City of San Diego adopted a truck ordinance prohibiting heavy duty trucks from traveling on Barrio Logan streets other than the established truck route on Harbor Drive. While a victory for the community, residents report heavy duty trucks continuing to use streets prohibited by the ordinance

Philomena Marino, a Boston Avenue resident, said: “This is not an isolated incident. My neighbors and I have been monitoring truck traffic on our street and the surrounding area and we have footage of heavy duty trucks driving past our homes regularly, in violation of the ordinance. While we are all relieved that residents weren’t injured, we are demanding that officials take immediate and increased action to enforce the ordinance and protect the community.”

The Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), a community environmental advocacy group, joined neighborhood residents to demand that immediate action be taken including increased enforcement by San Diego Police; including posting officers in the neighborhood on a regular basis to issue citations to truckers driving on prohibited streets. The group also calls for more action on resident reports, as neighbors continuously report violations of the ordinance but do not receive responses and prior reports and photos of trucks in violation of the ordinance should be used to issue warnings to truckers. Finally, the group calls for improved and additional signage on the truck route and prohibited streets should include lights and posting of the penalty fine.

For decades, air pollution from multiple sources such as port operations, heavy diesel traffic, and local zoning that allows industrial businesses to be located near homes and schools, has plagued communities such as Barrio Logan and National City. The rate of asthma emergency room visits for children living here is up to five times higher than other areas in the county.

The EHC recommends residents report any illegal truck traffic to the SDPD non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000.

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