The Parking Zone – NIMBYs strike again

October 30, 2020

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, ranging from proposed legislation regarding fines to new truck stops.

Park City not living up to its name

In an ironic twist, residents of a Kansas town named Park City are vehemently against truck parking.

According to The Wichita Eagle, developers interested in building a truck stop off of Interstate 135 in the town need rezoning as a result of overnight truck parking included in the plans. During a planning commission that lasted four hours, residents expressed their opposition. Located just 2 miles from a new Amazon warehouse, the truck stop would be undeniably valuable to truckers hauling Amazon products. Developers plan to include 100 truck parking spaces.

The usual concerns were expressed by more than two dozen residents who spoke against the truck stop during the meeting: environment, human trafficking, noise/air pollution, traffic, etc. Regarding human trafficking, a lawyer who spoke during the meeting went as far as to say that it’s a matter of “when” not “if” a Park City resident is either abducted in human trafficking or sexually assaulted. Many residents threatened to move, with some claiming they are moving because of the truck stop which has not even been approved yet.

The Parking Zone has reported on many NIMBY truck parking stories, but Park City residents have taken it to an extreme. The city council will give the thumbs up or down in an upcoming meeting. Safe money is on thumbs down.

Arkansas town wants nothing resembling a truck stop

Residents in El Dorado, Ark., are up in arms about a proposed truck stop in the town, and that’s using the term “truck stop” loosely.

Owners of a T Ricks gas station are requesting rezoning in order to add diesel fuel tanks and a gravel parking lots to get to and from the convenience store, according to the El Dorado News-Times. That’s it. There is no indication of any truck parking at all, let alone overnight parking.

Despite the lack of being an actual truck stop, residents have signed a petition and bombarded the city with phone calls and letters opposing the plan. In a follow-up story, the El Dorado News-Times reported that the city ended up denying the rezoning request, handing another victory to the NIMBYs.

This situation highlights the fact many people are against trucks in general. Common arguments against truck stops do not apply to a location where it’s only fuel and go. If simply fueling up is a struggle, no wonder getting sufficient parking is nationwide problem.

I-10 truck parking info system obtains data

The I-10 Corridor Coalition is moving in on its Truck Parking Availability System project. Recently, the coalition solicited comments from truckers with a survey. That survey ends on Oct. 30, so if you are reading this on the day of publication there is still time to take the survey here.

Once completed, the system will monitor and report on available spaces at 37 public rest areas providing approximately 550 spaces. It’s not more parking, but at least you’ll know where parking isn’t available. Total funding is nearly $14 million, which could buy a lot of new parking spaces, but no one has ever accused the government of being efficient.

Canadian truck parking news

Meanwhile, north of the border, northern Ontario is building four new rest areas and repairing/expanding 10 existing facilities.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, new amenities will include more bathrooms, improved lighting and increased parking. Part of the goal is to help combat human trafficking. Based on the Ministry of Transportation’s news release, the Ontario government appears to understand trucking needs.

In a “Quick Facts” section, a new release states, “Providing more opportunities for trucks and other vehicles to stop and safely park so that drivers can rest will help keep Ontario’s roads and highways among the safest in North America.” The province also has provided portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations providing a place to stop and rest safely, and has ensured that parking and washrooms remain available at all 23 travel plazas.

 

Michigan City paves way for a new Love’s

Confusingly located in Indiana, Michigan City officials gave final approval for a Love’s Travel Stops site plan, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana.

The new Love’s will be located off of U.S. 421 south of Interstate 94. According to the Times, the truck stop is much needed for truckers who are loyal to Love’s. Although there is a Love’s about 35 miles to the west in Gary, the next Love’s on I-94 to the east is in Marshall, Mich., which is about two hours away from Michigan City.

Potential truck parking in Houston

No, not that Houston. Houston, Miss. A new truck stop may be in the small town’s future, according to the Chickasaw Journal.

Entrepreneurs Ruth and Monther Erar own many businesses and want to add another truck stop in their portfolio. If everything goes well, their latest business venture will be located near Highway 8 and Highway 15 in northern Mississippi.

The Erars plan to open up a branded location. Which brand they choose is still up in the air. Here’s hoping the process goes smoothly and without much interruption.

Everything on the table – except a truck stop

With ecommerce and the pandemic shutting down brick-and-mortar businesses, a lot of real estate is open for new business. That is certainly the case in New Lenox, Ill.

The Herald-News is reporting that developers are looking to turn a former Kmart building in New Lenox into a truck stop. However, the city wants no part of that. City officials want to keep that area commercial (not industrial), because that clearly has been working out so well. The mayor even said the city is “open to a lot, just not a truck stop.”

Also worth noting: New Lenox is just a 15-minute drive on U.S. 30 away from Joliet, Ill. If that city sounds familiar, it’s because it has been mentioned in The Parking Zone here, here, here, here, here and here. Land Line has more than two years of coverage about Joliet residents trying to stop a truck stop from being built. Looks like the neighboring towns are not truck-friendly either.

New Big Three locations

In October, all Big Three truck stops – Love’s, Pilot and TravelCenters of America – opened new locations across the country. In total, four new locations added 274 much-needed truck parking spaces to the infrastructure:

  • Love’s at 14414 S. Cross L Road (off of Interstate 17, Exit 263) in Mayer, Ariz. (57 truck parking spaces).
  • Love’s at 150 Couchville Industrial Boulevard (off of Interstate 840, Exit 67) in Mount Juliet, Tenn. (97 spaces).
  • Pilot at 3006 S. Butterfield Trail (off of Interstate 8, Exit 119) in Gila Bend, Ariz. (70 spaces).
  • TA Express at 1086 U.S. 59 (off of U.S. 59 near Interstate 20) in Carthage, Texas (50 spaces).

Make sure to check out the print of edition of The Parking Zone in the latest Land Line Magazine issue for truck parking news not mentioned above. LL

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.