The Parking Zone – July 2020
July 31, 2020
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.
Love’s defeated by NIMBYs
It was a long, hard-fought battle that Love’s Travel Stops seemed to be winning, only to have the rug swept from underneath its feet. According to The Glendale Star, the proposed truck stop in Glendale, Ariz., is officially dead.
This case has been featured in The Parking Zone three times, beginning in the February edition, when it wasn’t even officially proposed. By June, The Parking Zone headline read “Arizona NIMBYs losing battle?” after the Glendale planning commission voted 4-2 to recommend the city council approve of the rezoning request despite a NIMBY-rich five-hour meeting. However, within one month, the situation went from favorable for Love’s to dead in the water.
In late July, the property owners informed the city that they have officially canceled the sale agreement with Love’s. Furthermore, the property owners entered into a deed restriction agreement that prohibits a truck stop from being built, full stop. Not only is Love’s out, but no other truck stop needs to bother even trying.
According to The Glendale Star, a legal threat against the property owners was the straw that broke the camel’s back. One citizen hired an attorney to threaten a referendum that would likely stop the development. The deal: Drop the truck stop agreement, and they’ll drop the referendum. The property owners conceded.
The story gets juicier. On social media, one councilmember posted “While the citizens are to be congratulated for their tremendous effort, someday I will tell the back story of how the truck stop decision came about.”
No one knows what that means. Click the above link to read the full story. It’s a short, must-read.
Love’s battle in Montana
Love’s NIMBY battle in Ramsay, Mont., is still ongoing. A quick keyword search of “Ramsay” on the Land Line website reveals how long and how much The Parking Zone has been following this (starting in May 2018).
The last update involved residents appealing the city’s decision that the plans are not in an area within Ramsay zoning boundaries. In a 7-0 vote, the zoning board dismissed the appeal. It’s a convoluted mess, but essentially the city has yet to determine whether or not the plans fall within its zoning jurisdiction, according to The Montana Standard. So far, no location permit has been issued. Meaning, there is no zoning issue to appeal yet.
At stake are more than 100 truck parking spaces. This is similar to the Glendale situation and can very easily have the same outcome.
Love’s having better luck in Tennessee
Meanwhile in Tennessee, Coffee County and state officials are being more accommodating to Love’s, according to The Manchester Times. Discussions have begun regarding a proposed truck stop in the county.
This is another one The Parking Zone has been watching. In last September’s edition, it was noted that construction was supposed to start in the spring of 2018. At the time, Love’s told Land Line that construction would begin in three or four months. Here we are nearly a year later and nothing has happened.
Apparently, the issue stems from an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Long story short, it’s an environmental issue dealing with discharge of fill material that requires an additional study. Love’s is still waiting on that approval. Once it gets the green light, construction should begin.
Possible truck parking near St. Louis
There are some talks about a gas station/travel plaza/truck near Interstate 255 and the Mississippi River in Missouri, according to Call Newspapers.
On July 27, the St. Louis Planning Commission held a public hearing for a petition for a change of zoning for MotoMart. The petition is for a proposed truck stop, including truck parking, near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge on I-255. Exactly how many truck parking spaces there will be is unknown at this time. However, more than 130,000 square feet of new pavement for parking lots is included in the plans.
According to the Call Newspapers, Illinois residents are driving into Missouri for the cheaper fuel prices. Apparently, this proposed location is one exit closer to the border than the current closest fuel station. Too early to tell what will come of this, so The Parking Zone will keep an eye on this one.
More truck parking at Wisconsin welcome center
Yup, it’s true. According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation documents, the Beloit rest area will be closed from August through late October. However, good things come to those who wait.
The closure is part of the state’s I-39/90 Expansion Project. The big project includes expanding I-39/90 from four lanes to six, reconfiguring 11 interchanges, and expanding the interstate to eight lanes through the Janesville area. Also on the list is expanding the northbound rest area in Beloit. Part of the project includes adding 22 more truck parking spaces to the rest area. That should be completed by Halloween, meaning truckers will get a treat rather than a trick.
More truck parking at two Colorado rest areas
Yup, also true. On July 17, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced the completion of the U.S. Highway 160 rest are truck parking enhancements project.
The two rest areas include the Sleeping Ute rest area in Montezuma County and the Shaw Creek rest area in Rio Grande County. From a CDOT news release:
“As part of CDOT’s Whole System – Whole Safety initiative, this project focused on safety enhancements to the Sleeping Ute Rest Area, east of Cortez, and Shaw Creek Rest Area, east of South Fork, to provide clearly defined locations for commercial truck and oversized recreational parking. When Wolf Creek Pass is impassable or closed due to inclement weather, vehicle crashes, rockfalls, avalanches or other emergencies that arise, the expansion at Shaw Creek Rest Area will provide safe parking off the highway for oversized trucks or large recreational vehicles. The additional big rig and recreational parking spaces at the Sleeping Ute Rest Area also provide clearly defined parking spaces, allowing for all vehicles, commercial trucks and passenger cars, to safely flow through the rest area preventing potential encounters or crashes.”
The project also included widening of existing truck parking areas, asphalt patching and lighting upgrades. More parking at safer rest areas is definitely a checkmark in the “W” column.
New Love’s and TravelCenters of America locations
Love’s and TravelCenters of America opened a total of three new locations, adding nearly 300 truck parking spaces:
- Love’s at 43100 U.S. Highway 41 (off of U.S. 41 near I-94, Exit 1) in Wadsworth, Ill. (107 truck parking spaces).
- Love’s at 1810 Main St. (off of U.S. 191 near I-70, Exit 160) in Green River, Utah (80 spaces).
- TA Travel Center at 14197 South U.S. Highway 441 (off of I-75, Exit 414) in Lake City, Fla. (100 spaces).