The Parking Zone – January 2020
January 31, 2020
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, ranging from proposed legislation regarding fines to new truck stops.
Texas parking survey
You probably read the subhead and thought “Oh great. Another survey.” Well, you didn’t skip to the next parking story, so that’s a good sign. Let me explain and encourage.
The Texas Department of Transportation is conducting a survey on truck parking amenities (such as showers or Wi-Fi) and truck parking staging (waiting to access a facility). More specifically, TxDOT wants input from you, the truckers.
I know we are all tired of surveys, research, studies, etc. On the other hand, if you don’t give them what they need, then they cannot give you what you need. With that said, take the survey here.
Alabama mayor says ‘No’ to truck stop
A company has been attempting to establish a travel center in Fultondale, Ala. According to The Jefferson News, the mayor of that town has outright rejected the idea.
See it for yourself:
Based on the comments from residents, the NIMBY crowd is either the majority or the loud minority. Either way, another one bites the dust.
Joliet is wrong
That’s a strong statement, but my friends at DAT Solutions help me back that claim.
Joliet, Ill., has been mentioned in The Parking Zone numerous times, because the city wants nothing to do with a truck stop. Maybe they should reconsider.
Recently, DAT Solutions released its Top 10 Freight Markets in 2019. See anything familiar?
Joliet is a top 10 market in all three truck freight modes. Clearly, there is a large demand for trucks in that city. Consequently, there is likely a large demand for truck parking. Yet, the city wants nothing to do with it. With such a huge freight market, Joliet likely profits tremendously from truckers. However, it doesn’t want to accommodate the men and women behind the wheel. Shame.
Oregon town gives preliminary approval for TravelCenters
Let’s head to the West Coast for some good news.
According to the Argus Observer, the city of Vale in Malheur County, Ore., has amended conditional use permits for a new truck stop. Apparently, the town is making way for a new TravelCenters of America location. This is exceptional in the fact that T&A does not open many new locations compared with Pilot Flying J and Love’s Travel Centers.
Nothing is set in stone, so cross your fingers.
Georgia town not as interested in truck stop
Meanwhile in Georgia, the city of Tifton is not as accepting.
In a roundup of rezoning applications, The Tifton Gazette is reporting that truck stops are not wanted. According to the news outlet, there are plenty of options when it comes to new businesses in the town. However, the city manager does not care for some.
“There’s been some concern about a truck stop going there, according to County Manager Jim Carter,” The Tifton Gazette reports. “While a gas station would be a possibility, a truck stop would not.”
From the report, the city manager did not elaborate. Probably because it is difficult to defend that position.
No truck parking in Jacksonville
Recently, a man was killed in a crash with a truck on Interstate 95 in Jacksonville, Fla. Rather than rant about how deadly trucks are, one local news outlet decided to do some real investigative reporting and get to the root cause.
WJAX-TV drove down a particular section of I-95 and noticed all of the trucks parked on the side. The reporter asked the truckers about the situation and found something shocking to her but old news for us: truckers are forced to break the law.
That is when the reporter realized that there is a lack of safe truck parking spaces in Jacksonville. Again, old news for the industry. This should be old news for everyone, but no one is bothering to ask the right questions. Once a crash occurs, it’s always the trucker’s fault. Report it as such, and move along. More reporting like this will inform the masses and quite possibly lead to real change.
New York City residents fed up with truck parking
To be fair, parking for any kind of vehicle in New York City is a nightmare and likely super expensive. However, it’s different for truckers since this is a matter of personal and public safety.
CBS New York is reporting that residents in Queens have had enough of trucks parking in their neighborhood. Reporters discovered about two dozen trucks parking in the area when they went down to check it out.
CBS did interview one truckers who mentioned the elephant in the room: he has no choice. That was about it. Neither CBS nor locals can see the elephant in the room even after someone has pointed it out to them. In fact, CBS has already reported on this:
Residents said they are begging the city to help. Reporter Lisa Rozner first reported on the problem two years ago. On Sunday, she went back to speak with residents who said the situation has only gotten worse.
You know how the city could help? CREATE MORE TRUCK PARKING! Until then, any fixes to the problem will be treating the symptom and not the disease.
Wisconsin town gives green light to second truck stop
It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes we can find a city that actually loves truck stops. Johnson Creek, Wis., is one of those towns.
The Wisconsin town as recently approved of a second truck stop, according to the Watertown Daily Times. Expected to open this fall, the Kwik Trip will be south of Interstate 94 and Highway 26.
More importantly, this location “will have more room in its parking area than many other Kwik Trip stores.” How many truck parking spaces exactly has yet to be determined.
New truck parking coming to Ohio town
Another town is eager to welcome trucks to the neighborhood. According to the Star Beacon, Conneaut, Ohio, will be home to a new Truck World.
In fact, Conneaut will be undergoing a lot of construction to pave way for new businesses. Approximately $14 million worth of business, to be exact. One of those businesses is a Truck World, which will be at Interstate 90 and Route 7.
Here’s a fun quote from the article: “Truck World is expected to increase the traffic on Route 7 by 50%, (City Manager Jim) Hockaday said previously. That increase will make the area more appealing to retailers, he added.”
The city is actually excited about MORE truck traffic. Probably because it brings in a lot of money. Who knew?
New TravelCenters of America location
Not a lot of action this month. TravelCenters of America was the only one of the Big Three truck stops to open a new location. This is bizarre considering it’s usually the only one that doesn’t open a new location in any given month. The new location is at Interstate 20 (Exit 587) at 4403 Highway 42 North in Kilgore, Texas. In total, there are 85 truck parking spaces.