The Parking Zone – June 2019

June 28, 2019

Tyson Fisher

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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.

Truckers should pay for ill-prepared infrastructure

That is essentially what one citizen wrote to the editor at The Free Press in Mankato, Minn.

In a letter to the editor, one concerned citizen pointed out the increased truck traffic in the area as a result of a new Walmart distribution center. Those trucks have been forced to park in a different lot due to a lack of parking closer to Walmart. Consequently, a nearby roundabout is getting banged up.

One person suggests charging a daily parking fee to repair damages to the roundabout.

Get rid of the roundabout. Mankato’s infrastructure has to adjust to the new environment caused by the new distribution center. It’s not the truckers’ fault the city didn’t plan well enough for the traffic. These men and women behind the wheel have no control over that.

Oregon to open new rest area; truckers prohibited

I thought this was going to be a positive story when I saw a news release from the Oregon Department of Transportation regarding a new rest area. However, I was wrong.

ODOT will soon open the Siskiyou Welcome Center off of northbound Interstate 5 near mile post 12 south of Ashland. According to ODOT, the $12 million rest area “will be a refuge for travelers coming into Oregon over the Siskiyou Summit, the highest pass on I-5 between Canada and Mexico.”

It appears $12 million can’t buy you truck parking spaces, though.

“Commercial vehicles over 20,000 Gross Vehicle Weight will be prohibited; they will be required to use the Port of Entry as a rest stop, five miles to the north,” ODOT said in a statement. “Rest rooms were constructed at the POE just for this purpose.”

Nevada state government getting it done

No, this isn’t another story about a state erecting electronic signs to tell truckers what they already know. Rather, this is a real statewide parking solution that other states should take note.

According to our very own State Legislative Editor Keith Goble, Nevada counties can raise diesel taxes and use that money for trucking parking. Specifically, all but two counties can add a tax of up to 5 cents per gallon of diesel. A portion of those funds will go to Nevada’s DOT for the construction, maintenance or repair of truck parking.

Keyword: construction. As in more parking space.

Great thinking, Nevada!

More shenanigans in Joliet

Oh, Joliet, Ill. I’m getting real tired of writing about you in The Parking Zone. Alas, here we meet again.

Love’s Travel Stop has been on a steep uphill battle in Joliet. NIMBYs fought hard in this battle, but eventually Love’s won. At least they are close to the top of the hill, but still not there.

Construction for the new Love’s has been delayed yet again, but according to The Herald-News, it has nothing to do with the locals.

This is an infrastructure issue. Sewers, water, road improvements, etc. Just when Love’s beat the NIMBYs, it came face-to-face to structural roadblocks. Construction will now take place this fall and may possibly extend until next spring. The folks at Love’s will be relieved when this is all over.

Former councilmember has message for NIMBYs

Meanwhile near Moab, Utah, the fight against a truck stop continues. This is another repeat entry, and sure enough, it involves Love’s.

Quick recap: Love’s bought land from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). Many residents did not approve. The Grand County Council even wrote a letter to Love’s that basically said it’s not welcome.

Important note: The proposed site isn’t even in Grand County. In fact, it’s in Spanish Valley in San Juan County.

Enter Lynn Jackson, a former member of the Grand County Council. Jackson wrote an opinion piece in the Moab Sun News giving many residents a reality check.

Jackson addressed NIMBY concerns, including idling diesel trucks, impacts to night skies, impacts to adjoining neighborhoods, and increased crime through drugs, prostitution and human trafficking.

“While the first of these reasons have some merit, the last one seems irrational and without demonstrated proof that I am aware of,” Jackson wrote. “I frequent Love’s Travel Stops when I travel and they are pretty much without exception clean, well run, high-end establishments.”

Third, Jackson points out how pivotal the U.S. Highway 191 corridor in the area is for freight. He points out that a truck stop will alleviate congestion and make the roads safer.

Lastly, Jackson reminds residents that San Juan County is one of the poorest counties in Utah. Why on earth would anyone reject a major revenue generator like Love’s?

Some better news for Love’s

While Love’s is having a bit of a struggle in Utah and Illinois, the truck stop chain is having some better luck in Ohio.

According to the Newark Advocate, Etna Township has major plans for several large-scale businesses, including a 850,000-square-foot Amazon distribution center, three separate 1.2 million square foot facilities (including a Kohl’s distribution center).

That will attract a lot of trucks, and Love’s is on it. It appears a new Love’s location is in the making along Ohio State Route 310. With so many distribution centers coming into town, it would be a disaster if a truck stop didn’t open nearby.

New Love’s and Pilot Flying J locations

June was a busy month for Love’s and PFJ. Between the two truck stop chains, nearly a dozen new locations are open, adding nearly 1,000 truck parking spaces to the infrastructure.

  • PFJ at 700 E. Highway 302 in Kermit, Texas (81 truck parking spaces).
  • PFJ at 11501 State Highway 191 in Midland, Texas (40 spaces).
  • PFJ at 4840 East Interstate 20 in Monahans, Texas (79 spaces).
  • PFJ at 979 East Paige Avenue in Tulare, Calif. (138 spaces).
  • Love’s at 16 Andrews Highway (near the intersection of Highway 18 and Highway 234) in Eunice, N.M. (83 spaces).
  • Love’s at 400 Steward Road (off I-88, Exit 76) in Rochelle, Ill. (103 spaces).
  • Love’s at 6560 Dixie Highway (near I-75 and Exit 144) in Bridgeport Charter Township, Mich. (87 spaces).
  • Love’s at 201 Love’s Crossing (near I-90 and US Highway 20) in Hampshire, Ill. (177 spaces).
  • Love’s at 1011 New Castle Road (off Exit 105 and I-79) in Slippery Rock, Pa. (48 spaces).
  • Love’s at 2603 Sam Wilson Road (off I-85, Exit 29) in Charlotte, N.C. (69 spaces).
  • Love’s at 551 West Main Street (near the intersection of Highway 86 and Martin Road) in Westmorland, Calif. (82 spaces).
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.