OOIDA urges Buttigieg to include truck parking in infrastructure bill
April 21, 2021
As the infrastructure bill moves along, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is urging Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to include truck parking in the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.
On April 21, OOIDA President Todd Spencer issued a letter to Buttigieg regarding the American Jobs Plan. Specifically, Spencer asks Buttigieg and the rest of the Biden administration to take “bold action” in addressing that nationwide truck parking shortage.
“A lack of parking makes it challenging for truckers to rest when they are tired, makes it difficult to comply with hours of service regulations, and often forces them to park in hazardous locations,” Spencer stated in the letter. “This creates safety issue not only for truckers, but for the motoring public as well. OOIDA has been working to address this growing problem in a meaningful way for a long time, but so far we’ve not been able to get much more than studies and reports telling us what we already know – more capacity is needed.”
Spencer points Buttigieg to HR2187, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. The bipartisan bill would direct $755 million specifically to add truck parking capacity.
Last year, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and ranking member Sam Graves, R-Mo., included similar truck parking provisions in their highway bills. HR2187 also has broad support from industry, law enforcement and safety groups. As of publication, the bill had 17 cosponsors, including 12 Republicans and five Democrats in districts from California to New York.
On March 31, President Joe Biden announced the American Jobs Plan, a sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure bill. Of that funding, the plan calls for $621 billion for transportation. From there, $115 billion would be allocated for modernizing bridges, highways and roads. Another $20 billion would fund projects to improve road safety. OOIDA’s letter urges Buttigieg and the Biden administration to include truck parking somewhere within that funding. The letter also was sent to Meera Joshi, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deputy administrator.
“Dedicating funding for truck parking would directly help our nation’s truck drivers, and the inclusion of this proposal would demonstrate President Biden’s support for hard-working Americans,” Spencer stated. “For essential workers who have worked throughout the pandemic, making their day-to-day work safer and easier is the least that you could do for them. Investment in truck parking would make a tremendous difference in the lives of those that can’t find a safe place to park on a regular basis. It’s something that most people take for granted, but in trucking the struggle is real.” LL