The Parking Zone – February 2018

February 23, 2018

Tyson Fisher

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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.

News regarding local truck parking is 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 across the United States.

Walmart fined $18,000 for truck parking

According to a report from the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., a local Walmart was fined $500 each day by the city for zoning violations for allowing trucks to park in their parking lot. Walmart submitted a parking plan on Dec. 13, ending the daily fine, which totaled to more than $18,000.

After a zoning inspection in April 2017, Walmart was found to be going against the original parking plan to the city, which did not include any plans specific to trucks. City attorney Krist Appenzeller told the State Journal-Register that there is concern for the safety of drivers navigating the curve in the parking lot.

City officials were advised by Walmart that the retailer would be monitoring the parking lot with extra security and towing services. Later inspections discovered trucks still parked in the lot.

Although Walmart can adjust the new parking plan to accommodate trucks, the city still requires a certain amount of car parking spots. Designating larger truck parking spaces can potentially compromise that car parking count.

New York town bans trucks stops

Over in Grand Island, N.Y., town board members amended the zoning code to prevent the building of any truck stop. Grand Island’s move to ban truck stops was their way of dealing with a proposal from Love’s Travel Stops to build a truck stop off Interstate 190 in the area.

According to The Buffalo News, the measure was approved unanimously. However, the amendment still needs to go through the town’s planning board and Erie County.

Much like the situation that played out in North Bend, Wash., this is a case of NIMBY. Approximately 200 people attended a planning board meeting donning buttons expressing their opposition to Love’s proposed truck stop.

Not surprisingly, typical arguments of environmental concerns and “a threat to the way of life” were cited as points of concern.

Good news north of the border

Meanwhile in Canada, eight rest areas in British Columbia will include Wi-Fi. Even better, free Wi-Fi has been installed at all commercial vehicle inspection stations in B.C., according to Kamloops This Week.

Rest areas to include Wi-Fi are:

  • Loon Lake on Coquihalla Connector, 25 miles southeast of Merritt;
  • Hunter Creek on Highway 1, 7 miles west of Hope;
  • Bradner on Highway 1, 3 miles east of Vancouver;
  • Cole Road on Highway 1, 45 miles east of Vancouver;
  • The Last Spike on Highway 1, 15 miles east of Sicamous;
  • Slim Creek on Highway 16, 75 miles east of Prince George;
  • Mount Terry Fox on Highway 16, 4 miles east of Tête Jaune; and
  • Boulder Creek on Highway 16, 33 miles west of Hazelton.

NIMBY in Ottawa County, Mich., town

Some residents in Coopersville, Mich., are not too excited about a potential truck stop in their neighborhood. Local ABC affiliate WZZM-13 is reporting that several residents opposing the truck stop have sounded off on social media.

“My concern is not for what truckers do or don’t bring to the area,” one Facebook post says. “I fear for the ‘other people’ that come with it.”

Of course, that statement was preceded by a declaration from the person that he or she has many friends and family truck drivers and has the “utmost respect” for truckers.

City officials are reviewing the area in question and have not reached a decision. In fact, an application for a truck stop has yet to be submitted. Questions were raised after it was revealed that a “gas station truck stop” merely showed interest in the area.

Ohio town tells Pilot Flying J and it’s truck parking to go away

Moving over to Ohio, residents of Allen Township expressed their disapproval of a Flying J truck stop at a recent zoning board meeting.

According to Marysville Journal-Tribune, “When the board asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they didn’t want the truck stop in the township, a majority of them did.” More than likely, that will put a stop to that potential location.

Cities that are welcoming new truck stops

Conversely, not all cities are actively exacerbating the truck parking problem by denying new truck stops to set up shop in their area. Below are a few towns who have recently opened (or will soon open) new truck stops, and consequently, more truck parking spaces.

  • Summerville, S.C. – Pilot Flying J at Jedburg exit off of I-26 (10 parking spots)
  • Kermit, Texas – Pilot Flying J off of Highway 302 and Standard Avenue (not yet open)
  • Alma, Ark. – Love’s Travel Stop at I-49 and Highway 282 (55 parking spots)
  • Alma, Texas (yes, two Almas in one month) – Love’s at Exit 246 on I-45 (138 parking spots)
  • Prince George, Va. – Loves’ at U.S. Highway 460 and Price George Road (73 parking spots)
  • Waterloo, Iowa – Love’s at U.S. Highway 63 and U.S. Highway 20 intersection (65 parking spots)
  • Mills County, Iowa – Love’s at Glenwood exit at I-29 and U.S. Highway 34 (60 parking spots)
Truckstop.com

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.