The Parking Zone – July 2019
July 31, 2019
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.
Some relief in Connecticut
Gov. Ned Lamont made a big announcement at the end of June: Connecticut will resume 24/7 operations at all of its rest areas, effective July 1.
Although more than two dozen rest areas are on the Connecticut DOT’s website, don’t get too excited. The 24/7 operation renewal only applies to state-operated highway rest area buildings, which is exactly seven locations:
- Interstate 84 Danbury eastbound past Exit 2.
- I-84 Southington eastbound past Exit 28.
- I-84 Willington eastbound past Exit 69, westbound past Exit 70.
- Interstate 91 Wallingford southbound past Exit 15.
- I-91 Middletown northbound past Exit 19.
Interstate 95 North Stonington southbound past Exit 93.
This doesn’t add truck parking capacity, but it at least makes parking overnight at these locations more bearable.
Pennsylvania municipality bans truck parking, but there’s a catch
Add Berwick, Pa., to the growing list of cities banning trucks from parking on city streets. Even though there is a truck parking ban, there is a little bit of silver lining in this case.
To start, it’s not only tractor-trailers being targeted under the new ordinance, according to a WNEP-TV report. Box trucks, campers, utility trailers and other large vehicles are also part of the parking ban. This all-inclusive parking ban is a deviation from the typical truck-specific bans we’re accustomed to.
Second, city residents can apply for a monthly permit that will allow them to park their large vehicles on a section of a specific street, something I personally have never heard of. According to the city, there is currently no fee for the permit. The ordinance is open to revisions in mid-August.
Honestly, this seems like a reasonable compromise which other cities considering a parking ban should take note.
Pennsylvania town approves new travel plaza
Lock Haven, Pa., will soon be the home of a new Lucky 7 Travel Plaza on Walnut Street, according to The Express.
The developer “intends to build a sprawling travel plaza to serve large trucks going to and from the First Quality Tissue plant,” according to the report. This includes a 10,292-square-foot travel plaza, diesel fuel, laundry facilities and showers.
Oh, and nearly 60 brand new truck parking spaces.
The owner of the development also runs Bald Eagle Truck Stop not too far from the proposed project.
Truckers booted at Kentucky Walmart
According to a video posted on Facebook by a trucker, several trucks parked at a Walmart in Kentucky were targeted earlier this month. More specifically, a device known as a “barnacle” was placed on several truck windshields.
Instead of the standard boot placed on tires, the barnacle is a large piece of plastic slapped on the windshield. According to the person taking the video, truckers had to pay up $500 within an hour or get their truck towed. However, exceptions applied only to truckers who had a receipt that proved they bought something at the Walmart within the past hour.
As the trucker points out, he has parked at that lot “hundreds of times” without incident. Needless to say, several truckers were upset as they confronted whoever it was responsible for “booting” them.
Minnesota addresses truck parking
Since November, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been in the middle of conducting a truck parking study to find problem areas. According to a recent report by KEYC-TV, Mankato is one of those places.
Although the study is somewhat old news, the recent KEYC report is worth mentioning because of the great job it did highlighting the problem. The story starts with a truck driver explaining the problem. Appropriately, he does that by briefing the reporter on hours of service.
Furthermore, the news stations brings up the nationwide truck parking, not just the one in Minnesota. A quick rundown of Jason’s Law is even provided.
Of course, this is all information you and I know all too well. However, the general public does not,and reports like this from mainstream media help inform the masses.
With that said, Minnesota is not exactly a problem state. According to Jason’s Law survey results, Minnesota is in the lowest quartile of states with parking problems. Minnesota also ranks in the highest quartile among ATA professionals regarding states with a sufficient supply of parking spaces.
Sometimes, the states addressing the nationwide problem are not a huge part of the problem. Maybe that’s why they’re not hurting for spaces.
Private driveway ban in Indiana town
These cases always baffle me, considering we’re dealing with private property. Nonetheless, they pop up consistently. Council members in Richmond, Ind., voted to ban semi cabs from being parked in private driveways in residential neighborhoods, according to The Palladium-Item.
One councilmember received calls from “a couple constituents” complaining about the trucks in their neighborhood. Apparently, a few whiners is all it takes to pass sweeping ordinances in the city of Richmond. These constituents must have some clout.
One councilmember said trucks can park at Walmart. For obvious reasons seen in the previous story, that’s probably bad advice. Also, could these constituents imagine having to park their work vehicle miles away from their home? No, they couldn’t.
Banning trucks on public land is one thing, but telling truckers what they can do with their work vehicles on their personal property seems fairly invasive to me.
‘Residents concerned about semis in empty grocery store lot’
That’s an actual headline from RTV6 in Indianapolis. And yes, residents are upset about trucks parking in an abandoned lot that no one is currently using.
For whatever reason, locals are throwing a fit over a few trucks in an abandoned parking lot. And when I say “a few,” I mean one or two at a time, apparently.
During the broadcast, an anchor was on site to show the problem the residents are talking about. Here’s a screenshot of the massive problem of trucks overrunning an unused parking lot:
I can’t tell if this is satire or an extremely slow news day over at RTV6.
At any rate, current city ordinances allow police to give people who park their vehicles there a 72-hour notice. By that time, a trucker will be long gone.
New truck stop planned in Washington state
According to My Ferndale News, Love’s is planning to build a location in Ferndale, Wash.,
The local news source is reporting that city officials have received permit applications, indicating plans are in the early stages. A public hearing, review by the hearing examiner and city council approval will be required.
Fingers crossed for a smooth process.
New Love’s locations
In July, Love’s was the only Big Three truck stop chains to open new locations. Two, to be exact and both in Arkansas:
- 3404 Highway 63 N (off of Exit 193 on Interstate 40) in Hazen, Ark. (111 truck parking spaces).
- 294 Highway 82 (off of Exit 82 on Highway 65) in Lake Village, Ark. (52 spaces).