The Parking Zone – January 2021
January 29, 2021
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.
Thousands of truck parking spaces coming in 2021
The Big Three truck stop chains have publicly announced their plans for 2021. In short, lots of new locations are in the works.
Love’s Travel Stops announced that it plans to open up to 50 more travel stops. That translates to more than 3,000 additional truck parking spots. Last year, Love’s opened 38 new locations and added more than 3,000 truck parking spaces.
Over at TravelCenters of America, the truck stop chain announced it will continue growth through its franchising option. Last year, TA signed 21 franchise agreements and opened 10 new franchise locations. This year, the company expects to open more than 20 new franchised locations in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. It’s unclear how many truck parking spaces that will add, but with TA locations averaging around 100 or more spaces, it could also be in the thousands.
Lastly, Pilot Co. told Land Line that it plans to build more than 15 new locations, adding about 600 truck parking spaces. Additionally, it aims to “upgrade and reimage more than 150 existing locations to provide drivers with more locations and a great guest experience,” the company said in a statement.
Truck stop denied by…truckers?
On the surface, this story is like any other truck stop proposal we have seen over the years. Developer makes a rezoning request, residents make claims against it and the planning and zoning commission denies the request. But this one has a twist.
According to The Covington News, one of the planning commissioners in Covington, Ga., Alan Milhouse is a former trucker with 21 years of experience. With a unanimous vote, he voted against the truck stop, partly because he agreed with residents who were concerned about criminal activity.
Even worse, a current trucking company in the area joined the voices of dissent. The man pointed out that there are three truck stops within 15 miles. For reference, the proposed truck stop would be located at Exit 98 off of Interstate 20 in Georgia. He also mentioned that idling trucks would increase air pollution in the town.
When it comes to truck parking, among the bigger problems at the municipality level is a lack of understanding. Now that those who should be in the know are resisting truck stops, the situation looks even bleaker than before.
A few more truck parking spots proposed in New York
An abandoned spot in Lansing, N.Y., has some interest from a truck stop developer but still has the standard hurdles to cross.
Dandy Mini-Mart has submitted its plans to Lansing to build a relatively small truck stop, according to The Ithaca Voice. Initial plans show space for six diesel pumps and six truck parking spots. Residents are raising the usual concerns, so Dandy Mini-Mart won’t be able to coast through this one. Several planning board meetings are expected in the coming months.
No truck projects of any kind in
Opposing truck stops is par for the course nowadays, but a California town is taking it to the next level. The Press-Enterprise is reporting that Jurupa Valley city officials have temporarily banned all “truck-intensive uses.”
On Jan. 21, the city council unanimously voted to ban developments that are truck intensive for at least 45 days. However, the council will consider extending that for the rest of the year. Officials claim it will take about a year to analyze such projects to determine if they are feasible in the town.
Two projects that were already in the works were denied an exemption. Although the moratorium has warehouses in mind, any truck stop looking at the area may as well turn around and look somewhere else.
Canada addresses truck parking
Meanwhile north of the border, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation will be building a truck rest area on Highway 402 near Wyoming later this year, according to Blackburn News.
Before you open up your map, Wyoming is also the name of a town in Ontario, Canada. The new truck rest area used to be a truck inspection facility. Restructuring old inspection locations for parking is something that has been done in Missouri as well.
The Ontario government plans to open nine more rest areas as part of its five-year road safety plan. The province also plans to improve 14 existing truck rest areas and add nearly 200 additional truck parking spaces at four existing travel plazas. Ontario also ensures that parking and washrooms are available at all 23 rest areas and there are more portable washrooms at inspection stations. Big tip of the cap to Ontario!
New truck parking study reveals the already-known
The government’s favorite way to deal with the truck parking crisis is to conduct an infinite number of studies. The Maryland Department of Transportation is the latest to do just that.
In partnership with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX, MDOT monitored a welcome center along Interstate 95 to study truck parking, Government Technology reports. Data is supposed to allow planners to get a better idea about how drivers use rest areas to develop better strategies.
The study is likely full of jargon, numbers and deep analysis compiled by highly educated scientists who dedicated countless hours to the project. However, the problem has been clear to truckers for decades: There are not enough truck parking spaces. The solution is just as simple: Add more!
All of the time and money spent on studies and technology could have been used on creating more capacity. Hopefully, Congress will pass the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, which allocates $755 million specifically to add free truck parking spaces to the infrastructure. It really is that simple.
New Big Three locations
All Big Three truck stop chains – Love’s, Pilot and TravelCenters of America – opened a total of six new locations across the country, adding more than 500 much-needed truck parking spaces to the infrastructure:
- Love’s at 1379 Flaxmill Road (Exit Flaxmill Rd./U.S. 24) in Huntington, Ind. (41 truck parking spaces).
- Love’s at 23801 W. Bluff Road (Exit 247/Bluff Road off of Interstate 55) in Channahon, Ill. (91 spaces).
- Love’s at 1385 8th Ave. SW (Exit 292 off of Interstate 94) in Valley City, N.D. (85 spaces).
- Love’s at 3550 W. Winnemucca (Exit 176/Route 289 off of Interstate 80) in Winnemucca, Nev. (67 spaces).
- Xpress Fuel Travel Center (Pilot Co. One9 Fuel Network) at 3105 N. Toltec Road (Exit 203 off of Interstate 10) in Eloy, Ariz. (82 spaces).
- TA Travel Center at 5945 U.S. 30 (Exit 353 off of Interstate 84) in Huntington, Ore. (150 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