The Parking Zone – April 2022
April 29, 2022
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.
More truck parking coming to Wyoming
Add Wyoming to the list of states actively addressing the truck parking crisis. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is resuming work on its Interstate 80 Winter Freight project between Rawlins and Laramie.
Already, work is being done at the Fort Steele Rest Area (mile marker 228) east of Rawlins and the Quealy Dome truck parking area (mile marker 290) west of Laramie. Specifically, each location will be home to 100 new truck parking spaces, adding 200 spaces to I-80 in Wyoming. Unfortunately, that means a temporary parking closure, but good things come to those who wait.
Ohio suburb getting a truck stop
Huber Heights, Ohio, may be home to a new truck stop. The Dayton suburb’s planning and zoning commission approved of a rezoning request for a proposed truck stop. However, city ordinance limits the property to 10 truck parking spaces, which is what the plan calls for. If it clears the city council, the truck stop will be off of Interstate 70 and state Route 235. That area appears to be trucker friendly. It is currently home to an ABF Freight building, Trans Lease, Trux Tex, logistics management company ProTrans, and dealerships for Peterbilt, Freightliner and Kenworth.
Perseverance is key in Joliet
Joliet, Ill., may be the most written about city in the history of The Parking Zone, so let’s pad those stats. According to Shaw Local News Network, QuikTrip is attempting to open a new truck stop in Joliet … again. QuikTrip failed at one attempt, so it’s trying its hand in the same city but at another location.
There’s a reason why so many truck stop chains want to set up shop in Joliet, and it’s certainly not because of community support. If the city continues to not accommodate the increase in truck traffic, then it may suffer the consequences of lower truck traffic. That may sound like sweet music to residents, but it means a decrease in commerce. Can’t have it both ways.
Georgia town becoming truck parking friendly … kind of
Earlier this year, the Conyers City Council passed an ordinance creating new standards for truck parking. In April, the first truck parking facility application was filed since the new ordinance went into effect. Based on new standards, the city council recommended approving the facility with the following conditions:
- Each parking space shall be demarcated or striped.
- No more than 100 parked trucks at one time.
- “No parking” signs around the Weaver Court cul-de-sac.
- Vehicles and related equipment will not be allowed to idle, diesel or operate while parked on the premises.
- Sleeping in a vehicle parked on the premises is prohibited.
As you can see, there are some deal-breakers here, especially the last condition regarding overnight truck parking. According to the Rockdale Citizen, the developer told the council that limiting parking to 100 trucks will render the project unprofitable. The issue has been tabled to allow the developer time to go back to the drawing board.
Feds provide money for truck parking … kind of
The Federal Highway Administration is releasing $6.4 billion in formula funding for states and localities over five years, and truck parking projects are eligible.
Through the new Carbon Reduction Program created under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, states can use the funds “to expand transportation options for American families that can help them save money on gas, according to FHWA. Among eligible projects are truck stop electrification systems to reduce the environmental impacts of freight movement.
In other words, a proposed truck parking facility is eligible for federal funding if the project includes some electric vehicle charging stations. Hopefully, some developers and municipalities will take advantage of this opportunity.
Canadian province to build more truck parking spaces
Meanwhile north of the border, the Ontario government’s draft transportation plan includes addressing truck parking. Among the many projects is a long-term project on Highway 401, which consists of adding truck stops along the highway. Ontario also plans to widen the highway to accommodate an increase in traffic, including trucks.
“The actions under this goal will improve the functioning of key corridors and support the trucking industry by reducing red tape and making it easier for truckers to find parking where and when they need it,” the draft plan states.
Connecticut NIMBYs opening up their wallets
Residents opposing trucking facility proposals are a dedicated bunch, but one Connecticut town has taken NIMBY action to a new level.
According to the News-Times, hundreds of Newtown residents have signed a petition to prevent a developer from building a trucking warehouse off of Exit 9 along Interstate 84. The proposal includes a 345,000-square-foot trucking warehouse on 105 acres with 75 truck docks, 50 trailer spaces and 360 parking spaces.
Despite the city’s wetlands commission approving the proposal, residents say the area is too environmentally sensitive for such a project. To prove their point, a coalition of residents called Newtown Neighbors have hired an expert to review proposal’s engineering. Whether an “expert” hired by an affected party can be impartial is another question.
Parking problem goes through the roof in Virginia
Too many people believe that truck parking is an industry problem. Unfortunately, it’s a safety issue for everyone, as evidenced in Lynchburg, Va. WSLS-TV is reporting a tractor-trailer partially fell through the top of a parking garage in downtown Lynchburg.
According to the report, a part of the upper deck of a parking garage collapsed after the nearly 80,000-pound truck stopped there. The “out-of-state truck driver pulled into a neighboring parking deck while looking for a place to park until the morning when the deck collapsed.”
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association members indicated Virginia has a truck parking problem in Jason’s Law survey results. In fact, the law’s namesake, Jason Rivenburg, was murdered while parked at an unsafe location just a few miles from his delivery destination, much like the trucker in Lynchburg.
New Big Three locations
Of the Big Three truck stops – Love’s, Pilot Co. and TravelCenters of America – Love’s and TA & Petro announced five new locations in April, adding more than 160 much-needed truck parking spaces to the infrastructure:
- Love’s at 8708 Crossing Drive (Interstate 94, Exit 164) in Rockville, Minn. (102 truck parking spaces).
- Love’s at 2210 Highway 601 N. (U.S. 601, Exit Highway S-1-682/Dove Sutton) in Pageland, S.C. (70 spaces).
- Love’s at 4315 Prichard Road (Interstate 90, Exit 174) in Moses Lake, Wash. (80 spaces).
- Love’s at 1262 Route 414 (Interstate 90, Exit 41) in Waterloo, N.Y. (78 spaces).
- Petro at 2440 Raphine Road (Interstate 81/Interstate 64, Exit 205) in Raphine, Va. (170 additional spaces).*
* TA & Petro recently acquired White’s Travel Center in Raphine as well as Lee Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington, Va. Both travel plazas were owned by Bobby Berkstresser, who passed away on April 14. White’s Travel Center, now Petro Raphine, is one of the largest travel plazas in the nation with about 725 truck parking spaces. TA & Petro plans to build another 170 spaces at the travel center, bringing the total to nearly 900 truck parking spaces. LL