The Parking Zone – October 2018

October 31, 2018

Tyson Fisher

|

Every week, there are several news articles across the nation related to truck parking. They range from a state department of transportation closing a rest area to local city councils preventing the opening of a truck stop.

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.

UPDATE: Love’s faces a battle in Illinois city

In September’s edition of The Parking Zone, I mentioned a story about Love’s trying to set up shop in Joliet, Ill. Residents resisted, but city administrators were all about it. A vote was slated for Oct. 2.

Well that time has come passed, and the voting results are in. With a 6-3 vote, the Joliet City Council approved the annexation and development of land at Interstate 80 and Briggs Street for the proposed new Love’s location.

As WJOL-AM pointed out, this was met with a large backlash from the public. Despite the resistance, the city saw through the opposition and identified a great economic opportunity. Tip of the cap to the Joliet City Council and mayor.

City versus State in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to build permanent truck parking along U.S. Highway 6 in West Glenwood. Officials in West Glenwood don’t want it. Oh, but it gets worse.

Glenwood Springs Mayor Michael Gamba said “You don’t put a pig farm next to your four-star hotel.”

CDOT Engineer Andrew Knapp said, “We have pigs out there already. We’re putting up pens for them.”

Ouch. Listen to Land Line Now’s interview with Mayor Gamba explaining himself:

Now listen to CDOT’s response:

Wow. This will be a fun one to watch.

City versus State in Utah

Meanwhile in Utah, the Utah Department of Transportation wants a truck parking lot near Bell’s Station at Silver Creek near Park City, Utah. City councilmembers are saying “No way,” according to KPCW-FM.

Let’s make a long story short: UDOT wants to make the site a parking area for trucks in addition to a chain-up area. The city is fine with a chain-up area, but wants no part of a plan that involves long-term parking.

UDOT is insisting on parking, since they probably have an idea of the situation. The feud between city and state is ongoing, so stay tuned.

New I-30 rest areas in Texas include truck parking

Earlier this month, the Texas DOT officially opened a $23 million Hopkins County safety rest area on both sides of Interstate 30 near Cumby, Texas, about an hour east of Dallas, according to Front Porch News.

With two facilities, one on each side of the interstate, each side includes restrooms, vending, Texas Department of Public Safety offices and walking/exercise areas. More importantly, each site has 28 truck parking spots with on-site security surveillance.

Officials say more than 740 fatigue-related crashes occurred along I-30 since 2013, three fatalities in Hopkins and Hunt counties. They saw a need and delivered. Good on you, Hopkins County.

Love’s plans new location at Alabama-Georgia border

October appears to have been a good month for Love’s. In addition to winning favor in Illinois, the truck stop company has also struck a deal in West Point. Ga., The Valley Times-News reports.

The deal to purchase land has been in the making for about a year, and was finalized just recently. The seemingly long process had nothing to do with resistance. Rather, it was just procedural. Making deals doesn’t happen over night.

Speaking of long processes, the new location won’t be under construction until next spring, with an opening date sometime in the fall. Expect new parking in the area around this time next year.

Kentucky town approves truck stop despite public opposition

Just like in Joliet, Ill., the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County in Kentucky approved a Future Land Use Map Amendment to accommodate a new Speedway convenience store and short-term truck stop, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.

With a 9-1 vote, the potential new Speedway location will be near State Highway 101 and Interstate 65, if everything goes as planned. Plans call for a four-lane fueling area for diesel vehicles and 18 truck parking spaces. No showers or maintenance shops will be available.

Like clockwork, residents were not happy about the idea. However, in a follow-up meeting the zoning changes and variance passed with only one voice of dissent on the commission. For what it’s worth, the one nay vote in all three votes was Sandy Clark. Anyway, doesn’t matter, because the truck stop looks to be moving forward.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission addresses truck parking

Set aside your feelings about the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as it pertains to tolls for a minute, because the commission appears to be doing some good when it comes to parking. LehighValleyLive.com is reporting that the PTC has a truck parking pilot program plan.

PTC has identified a truck parking deficit of nearly 900 spots. The six worst service station in the area include:

  • Highspire plaza in Middletown, Dauphin County (9 truck parking spaces).
  • Lawn plaza in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County (14 spaces).
  • Bowmansville plaza in Denver, Lancaster County (13 spaces).
  • Peter J. Camiel plaza in Elverson, Chester County (24 spaces).
  • Valley Forge in Wayne, Delaware County (7 spaces).
  • King of Prussia in King of Prussia, Montgomery County (26 spaces).

Do the math and that totals to 93 spaces. However, nearly 200 trucks were observed parking in the rest areas at one time. Clearly, there’s a problem here.

To address that problem, the PTC is rolling out a pilot program at those six locations. In addition to better management and availability signs, PTC also will add parking spaces. At the Lawn plaza alone, an expansion will add 77 more truck parking spaces. PTC is on it!

Flying J not as lucky as Love’s in South Carolina

While Love’s has been getting approvals all month, Pilot Flying J was denied in South Carolina. A proposed Flying J truck stop was struck down in Charleston, according to The Daniel Island News.

On his Facebook page, Councilman Josh Whitley posted: “I know many residents on (Clements Ferry Road) have been interested/concerned and especially in (Beresford Creek Landing), but after many months and many meetings, Flying J will not be coming to (Clements Ferry Road) at Beresford Run.”

In this case, the NIMBY warriors won.

Staten Island police crack down on illegal parking

Pennsylvania’s approach to a parking problem is to add more parking. New York’s? Bust the truckers.

According to Staten Island Advance, truckers have been illegally parking on Christopher Lane. In fact, they have been doing this since at least 2011, with the problem popping back up on a regular.

Obviously, there has been a lack of parking in the area for at least seven years now. Rather than accommodate the truck parking needs, the NYPD has decided it’s just going to start enforcing the no parking laws even more.

This is like punishing a child for not looking both ways while crossing the street even though the child was being chased by a knife-wielding maniac. Face a life-threatening situation or do something less dangerous? Have to choose the lesser of the two evils, which is what truckers do when deciding to park in certain areas. Stop or risk driving fatigued and killing someone.

Midland, Texas, now authorized to cite illegal truck parking

The Midland Police Department has had a dilemma. Trucks are parking illegally on commercial property, but it can only write parking tickets in residential areas. Not anymore.

As of Oct. 1, the Midland Police Department has the authority to cite truckers parked illegally, no matter what kind of property they are on. Fines can reach up to $500.

KPEJ-TV reported that “police officers saw dozens of 18-wheelers throughout the city illegally parking on commercial property.”

Just like the NYPD mentioned above, Midland’s solution to the obvious problem is to issue more citations. Maybe TXDOT can step in and offer some relief as it did in Cumby.

New Love’s location

Slow month for new locations for the Big Three (Love’s, PFJ and TravelCenters of America). Between the three, only one new Love’s Travel Stops has opened across the nation, adding nearly 70 truck parking spaces to the infrastructure:

  • Love’s at 409 Yemassee Highway off Interstate 95 (Exit 38), Yemassee, S.C. (68 truck parking spaces).
Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.

Synchrony Financial