Will 2020 be the ‘Year of Parking?’
New reports regarding local truck parking are too numerous and small in scope to report on individually. However, what each of these news items means to the underlying national problem is too significant to ignore. Below is a roundup of the latest truck parking-related news items from across the United States.
It’s still early in 2020, but if the end of 2019 is any indicator, we should see a lot more truck parking this year. In November and December, there seemed to be a surge in new truck stops or promising proposals for a new truck stop.
December parking situation
The last month of the year (and the decade) saw some promising movement in truck parking. For example, a castle-themed truck stop and hotel opened its doors in Goshen, Ind. Meanwhile, Love’s Travel Stops opened new locations in Arkansas, Ohio and Washington state.
Even government agencies chipped in toward the end of 2019. The Lawn Service Plaza in Lebanon County, Pa., added 77 truck parking spaces along the Pennsylvania Turnpike at mile marker 258.8.
There were also a lot of projects underway at the end of the year. Love’s alone has three. Construction of a new location at Snoqualmie Pass is scheduled for this summer. In Tennessee, Love’s proposed site in Manchester is closer to becoming a reality. Meanwhile, in Iowa, Love’s received the green light for a project in the city of Muscatine.
Kansas saw some action as well. Construction for a large travel plaza off of Exit 157 on Interstate 70 in Hays is scheduled for April or May. Once completed, 125 truck parking spaces will be available. And in Edgerton, TravelCenters of America plans to open a new TA Express off of Exit 205 on Interstate 35 sometime in mid-2020.
Last but certainly not least, truck parking in North America ended in spectacular fashion when the city of Surrey in British Columbia announced a highly anticipated truck parking oasis that will eventually create nearly 2,000 truck parking spaces.
November parking situation
The parking vibe in November was also a positive one.
The Hernando County Commission in Florida unanimously approved of a truck stop at the Interstate 75 and state Road 50 interchange. Two approvals were also given in Washington state for a Love’s and Pilot Flying J truck stop.
In Topeka, Kan., a new Love’s is near completion off of Highway 75 and Lower Silver Lake Road. The grand opening is expected sometime in February. Construction of a new truck stop in Altamont, Ill., has begun, with a completion date of mid-March. That truck stop will be off Interstate 70 near mile marker 82.
November was another month when a state government stepped up to the plate. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation plans to add 36 truck parking spaces at the Janesville rest area and 22 more spaces at the Beloit rest area.
All of the “Big Three” truck stops opened new locations in November, adding more than 300 truck parking spaces. Locations include Calhoun, Ga.; Elgin, S.C.; Andrews, Texas; Midland, Texas; and Summit, S.D.
End-of-year stats for the Big Three
Love’s, Pilot Flying J and TravelCenters of America were busy setting up new locations wherever the NIMBY resistance was weak. Together, the three largest truck stop chains added more than 4,000 truck parking spaces in 2019.
According to Love’s spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell, the Oklahoma-based company opened 29 stores in 2019, including its 500th location in Edon, Ohio. Nearly 2,600 truck parking spaces were added to the infrastructure with those new openings. Love’s now has a total of 508 locations in 41 states.
TravelCenters of America added about 300 parking spaces last year. According to TA spokeswoman Tina Arundel, those spots came primarily through the opening of new TA Express locations in Texas, North Dakota and two in South Dakota.
“We look forward to adding even more parking in 2020 as we continue to open TA Express locations around the country,” Arundel told Land Line. “We have four openings announced so far; drivers can look forward to TA Express sites opening next year in Salina, Utah; Rufus, Ore.; Kilgore, Texas; and Edgerton, Kan.”
Meanwhile, Pilot Flying J opened 22 new locations, including 15 Canopy locations and seven One9 locations. Approximately 1,300 truck parking spaces came with those new locations. PFJ spokeswoman Cara Lutz told Land Line that the company now has nearly 73,000 truck parking spaces nationwide, in addition to more than 5,000 showers and nearly 7,000 diesel lanes. LL