In the parking lot of the tennis center on Lampson is an electronic sign that reads: “No Commercial Vehicles On Lampson—No Exceptions.” The question is the obvious exceptions that abound. For example, there is the semi-tanker that services the gas station, Amazon delivery trucks, and even the plumbers and gardeners that work College Park East. All are commercial vehicles. Then there are the vehicles that don’t even see the sign going east on Lampson until they are at the tennis center. I know what the sign says, but wonder what it really means. Thanks.
Thanks for the really good question. As I’ve previously admitted, traffic enforcement is not my specialty. To get help answering your question, I reached out to Officer Erin Enos. She’s trained as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer (and also an overall really cool person. If you ever see her around, ask her about her time as a radio station disc jockey!).
Officer Enos wrote:
“No vehicles over three tons or 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) are allowed on Lampson Avenue, UNLESS they are making a delivery into College Park East or the gas station. They would have to have paperwork showing their delivery location. Also, they must take the most direct route to and from their delivery location.
For instance, the gas truck comes off the 405 Freeway and makes his delivery to the Chevron on Lampson Avenue. Let’s say his next delivery is at Lampson and Valley View…he CANNOT continue down Lampson, he has to go back to the nearest truck route, which would be Seal Beach Boulevard.
Most Amazon delivery trucks are basic vans and are not over three tons. UPS and FedEx vans might be, but they are allowed to make their deliveries. Also, landscaping trucks are allowed to conduct their business as well.
Regarding signage, there are two posted signs on westbound Lampson Avenue (coming from Garden Grove) that state no vehicles over three tons. There is also one at eastbound Lampson Avenue when you turn from Seal Beach Boulevard.
There are two types of trucks, commercial and regulated.
California Vehicle Code § 260 defines Commercial Vehicles (I am paraphrasing somewhat).
(a) A commercial vehicle is a motor vehicle that is used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit. Or they are designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
(b) Passenger vehicles or motorhomes that are NOT used for the above do not constitute as a commercial vehicle.
California Vehicle Code §34500 defines Regulated Vehicles (Very convoluted section, but here is the nutshell version)
• Trucks with 3 or more axels over 10,000 lbs. GVWR
• Truck Tractors (AKA: “big rig”, “Diesel Truck”)
• Trucks with hazmat
• Vehicle with GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or more OR vehicle towing another vehicle with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs. GVWR (so 10,001 lbs.)
Truck routes in Seal Beach are Westminster Avenue, Seal Beach Boulevard (ending at Pacific Coast Highway), 405 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway. These routes allow the following vehicles:
• Max width of 102 inches (CVC 35100(a))
• Max height 14 feet (CVC 35250) (Unless a double decker bus then 14’3”)
• Max combo length of 65 feet (CVC 35401(a)) **combo meaning like a Tractor trailer**
• Max KPRA of 40 feet (CVC 35400 (a)) **King Pin to Rear Axel**
The only places vehicles over these regulations can travel are on “terminal access routes”. Seal Beach has only TWO terminal access routes: PCH and 405 Freeway.
A key phrase in commercial enforcement is “reducible load”. IF the load can be reduced then they MUST reduce it to travel outside of terminal access.
For instance the Target trucks … they usually have 53’ trailers, but they use day cabs to haul it. This keeps them under 65’. If they were using a sleeper cab with a 53’ trailer, I guarantee they are over length, usually around 74’.
If a load is absolutely NOT reducible, for instance a huge AC unit or the space shuttle, then the company MUST get a permit to travel, outside of terminal access, for EVERY city they will travel through. Each city will give them guidelines they must follow, for instance escorts, pilot vehicles etc.”
So Tom, this is probably more than you ever wanted to know about commercial vehicle enforcement. I hope this answers your questions. Look for Officer Enos on Lampson Avenue enforcing these rules.
Seal Beach, keep sending us great questions like the one Tom submitted to us this week. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!