The Parking Zone – September 2021

September 30, 2021

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.

Washington state needs input from truckers

The Joint Transportation Committee of the Washington State Legislature needs driver to help with its truck parking action plan. Specifically, the committee needs any trucker who drives in and out of the state to complete this survey so it can collect and analyze accurate data.

This is not your typical truck parking survey for two reasons. First, this study is interactive. Instead of clicking a circle to indicate your answers, Washington’s survey has an interactive map of the state where respondents can click and drag various icons to indicate where they have experienced certain issues, including lack of short rest parking, lack of 10-hour parking, and lack of parking for 34-hour restart. One section allows users to drag 15 coins to where they would like to allocate resources. It’s pretty cool.

Second, this isn’t some run-of-the-mill truck parking survey being conducted by a state Department of Transportation as a way to show it is “doing something” about the truck parking crisis. Rather, the survey is part of a truck parking action plan commissioned by the Washington State Legislature. You can read all about that plan here. It’s quite extraordinary and contains gems like this: “The shortage of convenient and available truck parking in Washington is a concern for safety and economic competitiveness, and has disproportionate effects on urban areas and other key locations in the state.”

Washington state is serious about addressing the truck parking crisis. Help them out. Survey closes on Oct. 3.

Love’s coming to Louisiana town

In the not-too-distant future, there will be more truck parking spaces off of Interstate 49 in Louisiana, according to KEEL-FM. Specifically, the mayor of Blanchard, La., recently announced that the city will be the home to a new Love’s Travel Stop at I-49 and Highway 1. It is expected to be a tier 1 location, which is Love’s largest. Blanchard anticipates an opening date sometime next year.

Georgia double downs on truck stop denial

In May’s edition of The Parking Zone, the Newton County Planning Commission in Georgia approved plans for a convenience store but only after eliminating all plans related to a truck stop. Now, the county is jumping ahead and eliminating any potential future truck stop. The Covington News is reporting that county commissioners made changes that more or less stop construction of truck stops in three zoning districts. However, “travel centers,” which are defined as businesses “for interstate highway travelers and families and do not have fueling facilities or overnight parking for commercial tractor-trailer drivers,” are just fine.

Love’s set to open ‘controversial’ location in Connecticut

Not every proposed truck stop is met with opposition. Those that often do not make it across the finish line. This is not one of those truck stops. Love’s is poised to open a new location off of Interstate 84 at Exit 71 in Willington, Conn., according to The Chronicle. Locals have raised issues over the new Love’s, mostly because of issues with a TravelCenters of America near the proposed site. The Chronicle reports that residents have “documented assaults, illicit rendezvous and other crimes associated with” the TA. Regardless, Love’s plans to open the new location early next year.

I-40 rest area in Arizona reopens

It has been closed for a few weeks, but the Meteor Crater Rest Area on I-40 is back open for truck parking. The Arizona Department of Transportation made the announcement on Sept. 24 after completing resurfacing of the parking lot. However, rest area facilities remain closed for improvements and rehabilitation. The important part is that truck parking is still accessible. The nearest traveler facilities are in Flagstaff and Winslow, FYI.

California county receives six-figure grant to address truck parking

If the federal government won’t fund truck parking, local and state governments have to step up to the plate. Sutter County is well aware. According to The Appeal-Democrat, the county will receive $100,000 from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to address “the need of truck parking in the area.” A county supervisor indicated that the trucking industry is a major employer in the area. Accordingly, county officials are working to secure enough truck parking spaces for the businesses driving their economy. Tip of the cap to Sutter County.

Love’s in Iowa experiences truck parking overflow

Having too much business can be a nice problem to have. Not for the Love’s in Waterloo, Iowa. Truck parking spaces fill up so quickly at night over there that trucks have to park along an adjacent road, according to The Courier. Consequently, the city wants to establish a new ordinance making truck parking illegal on that road. However, one resident said he has never had a problem with the trucks, suggesting the city council is being pressured by a single developer who has a financial stake in nearby property. Fortunately, the city is willing to work with Love’s to find a solution. Another tip of the cap, this time to Waterloo city officials for being willing to compromise.

More truck parking coming to Mansfield, Pa.

It’s true, based on a report from the Wellsboro Gazette. Specifically, Mansfield will be host to a new travel plaza. City officials expect the travel plaza to open at 1904 S. Main St. off of U.S. 15 sometime next year. It’s not clear how many truck parking spaces will be there, but truck parking is definitely part of the plans.

New travel center coming to Maryland/West Virginia border

Despite rumors suggesting otherwise, a proposed travel center in Hancock, Md., continues to move forward, according to The Morgan Messenger. Plans include a 7,700-square-foot travel center, Little Ceasar’s pizza, IHOP and Burger King, all of which will be open 24/7. The number of truck parking spaces is unknown as of publication.

Love’s September success continues

Looks like Love’s had a great month. In addition to the new locations mentioned above, the truck stop chain gained the approval of the Normal, Ill., City Council for another location. Last month, The Parking Zone mentioned that the proposal in Normal appeared to be going smoothly. Apparently, the situation remains positive. According to The Pantagraph, the Normal City Council voted unanimously to approve Love’s site plan. The new truck stop will be off of Interstate 55 and North Main Street.

Additional truck parking planned for Kansas town

Approvals of new truck stops keep coming. This one is in Edgerton, Kan., which is located off of U.S. 56 just north of Interstate 35. According to WDAF-TV, the city is considering a proposal for a large 42-acre development. Plans include two hotels, a conference facility, three fast-food restaurants, one casual dining restaurant, a convenience store, retail space, office space and a new travel center with a truck wash and truck maintenance facility. The proposal still needs to get through the city council. If it does, construction will being in spring 2022.

The Washington Times sounds the alarm

Anyone reading this is well aware of the national truck parking crisis. Unfortunately, the general public appears to be oblivious to this problem despite the fact it affects them as well. It’s up to mainstream media to reach those people. That’s exactly what The Washington Times did in an op-ed titled “To keep on truckin’, big rigs need new highway parking facilities.”  Essentially, The Washington Times is echoing everything that has been stated in The Parking Zone, but to the masses. The op-ed mentions how hours-of-service regulations cause problems when it comes to parking and that sufficient parking “is not just a matter of comfort and convenience for (truckers) but safety for all highway travelers.” Furthermore, The Washington Times points out that Congress has failed to fund truck parking projects in the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Hopefully, this information reaches enough people needed for real change.

New Big Three locations

Between Love’s, Pilot Co. and TravelCenters of America, only one new location opened in September. That Love’s truck stop is  at 4440 Highway 46 (Exit 223, Interstate 95) in Mims, Fla., and includes nearly 100 truck parking spaces.

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

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.