Text of truck parking bill, HR6104, provides more context to program

March 13, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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On March 5, Reps. Mike Bost, R-Ill., and Angie Craig, D-Minn., introduced HR6104, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. More details about the bill text give more context of what HR6104 can do.

HR6104 would set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to add more truck parking capacity. According to draft text obtained by Land Line, the money will come off the top of four separate safety programs prior to  funding being apportioned to states.

In any given fiscal year, the National Highway Performance Program, the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program and the National Highway Freight Program receive their share of the Highway Trust Fund. HR6104 will draw money from those programs and set it aside specifically for truck parking.

HR6104 would authorize $755 million for truck parking over five years:

  • $125 million for fiscal year 2021.
  • $140 million for fiscal year 2022.
  • $150 million for fiscal year 2023.
  • $165 million for fiscal year 2024.
  • $175 million for fiscal year 2025.

How much each program will contribute to truck parking will be proportional to its share of collective funding.

Grants under HR6104 will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will provide parking for trucks on federal-aid highways or on a facility with reasonable access to a federal-aid highway or a freight facility.

Those eligible to receive a grant include states, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and any public agency carrying out responsibilities relating to truck parking.

In addition to being near a federal-aid highway or freight facility, HR6104 projects must be one of three specified types.

First, it can be a safety rest area. A “safety rest area” is defined as “an area where motor vehicle operators can park their vehicles and rest, where food, fuel and lodging services are not available, and that is located on a segment of highway with respect to which the secretary determines there is a shortage of public and private areas at which motor vehicle operators can park their vehicles and rest.”

Second, a truck parking facility under HR6104 can be built:

  • Adjacent to a private, commercial truck stop and travel plaza.
  • Within the boundaries of, or adjacent to, a publicly-owned freight facility, including a port terminal operated by a public authority.
  • At existing facilities, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride locations.

Lastly, a project can convert existing weigh stations and rest areas to facilities for the exclusive use of truck parking. However, no more than 25% of allocations can be used for pre-construction activities such as feasibility analyses, environmental reviews, etc.

Proposed projects will have the greatest chance of grant approval if they meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate a safety need for truck parking capacity in the corridor in which the project is proposed to be carried out.
  • Consulted with affected state and local governments, trucking organizations, and private providers of truck parking.
  • Demonstrate that the project will likely increase truck parking capacity, facilitate the efficient movement of freight and improve highway safety, traffic congestion, and air quality.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide for the maintenance and operation cost necessary to keep the facility available for use after completion of construction.

No matter what type of project is proposed, all projects under HR6104 must adhere to one overarching demand: no fees can be charged for a truck to access and park at any part of the facility constructed with the grant money.

More specifically, no fees can be charged for a truck to access and park at any part of the facility constructed with the grant money.

Available funds are to be used until the well is ran dry, making the money nontransferable.

Within 18 months of the program being enacted, the U.S. Department of Transportation will release a report that evaluates each state’s ability to provide truck parking. The report also will evaluate the effectiveness of the projects funded. The USDOT will also look into the sustainability of new parking projects. This report will be repeated every two years.

Other parking news

Staff Writer Tyson Fisher covers truck parking for Land Line Media. Check out his latest The Parking Zone round up of truck parking related news.

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.