Survey: Most Americans want more truck parking, but not in their backyard
March 16, 2023
A new survey reveals what the trucking industry has known for years: Most Americans are oblivious to the truck parking crisis.
According to a new survey conducted by CloudTrucks, 56% of Americans surveyed are not aware of the truck parking crisis.
Halfway through the survey, participants were educated on the truck parking crisis. When asked “How serious a problem do you think the lack of trucker parking is for the transportation industry,” 86% said it is critical or significant. Only 10% indicated the truck parking situation is minor or not a problem.
Now aware of the problem, 90% said it is necessary to increase public awareness of the truck parking crisis. However, awareness does not appear to change the “not in my backyard” mentality.
Although 95% of respondents support the construction of new overnight truck parking facilities, 80% would only support such facilities that are at least 3 miles from their homes.
Only one in five made the connection of truck parking to safety. When asked what are the reasons long-haul truckers drive while drowsy, only 21% thought a lack of truck parking contributed to drowsy driving. More than three-quarters of respondents attributed drowsy driving to pressure to meet delivery deadlines.
“America’s truck parking shortage is dangerous for drivers and the public and costly for the broader transportation and logistics industry,” Tobenna Arodiogbu, cofounder and CEO of CloudTrucks, said in a statement. “As these survey results indicate, when Americans are educated about the gravity of the problem, they want to see action.”
Survey participants indicated that governments should step up to the plate. When asked what steps federal, state or local governments should take, more than two-thirds said governments should increase funding for the truck parking infrastructure – e.g., rest areas and truck stops.
However, that money should be coming from the federal government. More than half of respondents said more federal government funding should be devoted to truck parking. Comparatively, only 40% indicated state governments should fund truck parking. Only a quarter of survey participants thought local governments should devote more money to truck parking.
Overall, perception of truckers was positive. More than 80% of respondents said drivers are overworked. Also, more than half of survey participants believe truckers are underpaid. Half of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers than the general public.
To read the full report, click here.
Time to get creative
For the most part, federal and state governments are aware of the truck parking situation. It is at the local level where the industry is running into problems.
Currently, the federal government is trying to get dedicated funding for truck parking with the SHIP IT Act. If signed into law, $755 million over four years would be allocated to expand truck parking. That money will go to state governments.
However, truck parking occurs at the local level. It is the local governments that need convincing. Unfortunately, local governments make decisions based on public input. As the survey reveals, no one wants truck parking near them, even after being educated on the problem.
Funding is half the problem. The other half are the NIMBYs. We can have an infinite amount of funding for truck parking, but we cannot do anything with it if every proposed project is shot down by locals.
The role of the federal government is to provide the funding, which is in the works. The role of state and local governments is to figure out how to use that funding. As long as local governments keep denying truck parking in their jurisdictions, the state departments of transportation have to get creative.
Missouri is a good example of getting creative with truck parking. Not only has the state converted old weigh stations into truck parking lots, but more recently, Missouri is turning two rest areas into a truck parking-only lot.
CloudTruck’s survey is pretty clear. Most people love truckers, but at a distance. When or if the federal government provides the cash, state and local governments need to find a way to circumvent that fact. It can be done, but we need to start thinking outside the box. LL