The Parking Zone – September 2019

September 30, 2019

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.

FHWA truck parking workshops

The federal government is continuing its never-ending quest for information regarding truck parking. This year, the Federal Highway Administration has held several workshops throughout the nation. These events are a way for the government to get a clearer picture of the issue.

Truckers are the best people to tell the government about the truck parking crisis. Below is a list of the scheduled upcoming workshops:

  • Oct. 2 in New Jersey at the NJDOT David J. Goldberg Transportation Complex, 1035 Parkway Ave., Trenton, NJ 08625. Contact Maryiam Kazmi for more information at 609-963-2087 or Maryiam.Kazmi@dot.nj.gov.
  • Oct. 22 in Boone County, Ky., at St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center located at 3861 Olympic Blvd., Erlanger, KY 41018. Contact Chris Courtney for more information at 859-446-1171 or ccourtney@boonecountyky.org.
  • Nov. 6 in Harrisburg, Pa., at the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study.

FHWA is planning for more workshops. Florida, Louisiana and Rhode Island are all discussing workshops plans. Details will be announced at a later date.

Don’t ‘park like a @$!%#’ in Hixton, Wis.

Here’s a fun one. A trucker at the Hixton Travel Plaza decided that blocking two pumps while on his break was a good idea. The driver refused to move, so management decided to fight fire with fire:

Looks like everyone was on board with the move too. Scroll through the comments and read all the truckers giving the truck stop a hat tip for blocking the truck. Don’t mess with mom-and-pop truck stops.

Killeen, Texas, ordinance meets pushback

According to a KWTX report, truckers are upset about a parking ordinance in Killeen that has been in place for about a year. Parking is so bad in the area, that some truckers are willing to roll the dice in the city.

Essentially, it comes down to park in Killeen and risk $200 plus towing fees or park somewhere susceptible to damage and theft. Others are paying as much as $200 per month for storage facility parking.

Truckers are asking for more safe zones in the city. The city did not respond to questions.

Proposed Maryland ‘truck stop’ still in limbo

Back in February The Parking Zone reported on a proposed truck stop in Williamsport, Md. Click the link to catch up on that before reading the update. I’ll wait…

Glad you’re back. The update: According to The Herald-Mail, the plan has gone from Point A to … Point A.

In February, a court ruled that the development is a truck stop even though there are spaces for only four trucks. This causes a zoning issue. The developer appealed the decision, which won’t be heard until February. An entire year just to appeal a definition. #Efficiency

Kansas Turnpike launches its Truck Parking Information Management System

Ah, yes. The infamous TPIMS initiative partly funded by the federal government to give the appearance that state and federal governments are doing something about truck parking. Kansas is the latest state to unveil its part of the multimillion dollar Midwest initiative.

During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the Kansas Turnpike Authority announced its TPIMS, which is basically just electronic signs where truck parking spaces are (or are not) available.

But there’s a catch.

There is an 18-hour restriction from the time you enter the turnpike until you pay the toll, according to the authority’s website. Stay past that time, you’ll pay the maximum toll. This leaves time to take your 10-hour there, but manage that time well.

Georgia town skeptical about new truck stop

A lot where a travel plaza used to sit off of Highway 140 in Adairsville, Ga., has been vacant for five years. Someone wants to build a truck stop there. However, the city is putting up some resistance, according to The Daily Tribune.

What’s unique about this resistance is the fact that a travel plaza was there not too long ago. With an expected increase in mega warehouses in the region, the entity that wants to build the truck stop sees lots of earning potential based on likely future demand. Despite having had a travel plaza there before, residents no longer want a fueling station there.

Since the travel plaza closed , the city has changed the zoning laws in that area. The commercial zoning law eliminated the word “truck stop,” throwing a wrench into the mix.

The city will hold a second reading of the special-use request, including a council vote, on Oct. 18. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming …

The Sweetwater County Commission unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for Love’s in Green River, Wyo., according to the Wyoming Business Report.

Although the new truck stop has received government approval and public acceptance, it was not met without NIMBY resistance. According to the Wyoming Business Report, a petition with more than 50 signatures opposed the plan. However, it seems those in favor outnumbered the naysayers.

Construction is slated for next April. When complete, the truck stop will be near the Covered Wagon Road exit off of Interstate 80.

Love’s on a winning streak?

In addition to the new location approved in Wyoming, it appears that Love’s will have new location in Tennessee as well. Maybe.

The Manchester Times is reporting Love’s plans to build a truck stop in Coffee County, Tenn., off of Exit 117 on Interstate 24. The weird part is that construction was supposed to start in spring … of 2018.

Despite having all the green lights to move forward, Love’s has not begun building anything. Land Line reached out to Love’s and was told construction will begin in three or four months. Good to go!

Truck parking restriction law pending in Wisconsin

Milton, Wis., may be the next town to pass a truck parking ban, according to the Milton Courier. However, it has not come easily.

Deviating from what seems the norm of cities effortlessly passing truck parking bans, the city of Milton has gone through three rounds of discussions over their version. One version eliminated cabs from parking restrictions, allowing truckers to park their truck at home if needed. Another version includes both cabs and trailers.

Unfortunately, the council has discussed removing the cab exception. Revisions will be presented at the next council meeting on Oct. 1.

Unnamed truck stop approved in NW Ohio

The Bellefontaine Examiner did not have a lot of information on this one, but it was enough. According to its report, Bellefontaine, Ohio, appears poised to open a new truck stop.

Details are limited, but we do know the city council approved of a rezoning request for a piece of land near state Route 540 and U.S. Route 33. Often, truck stops cannot even get that much from a council. Approving a rezoning request signals that the city is open to the idea.

This appears to be early in the planning stages, so it may be awhile before we hear anything substantial. The Parking Zone will keep you informed.

Heads up if driving through Janesville, Wis.

Typically, rest area closures are not worth reporting since they last only a few days for maintenance and repairs. However, the rest area closure scheduled in Janesville is worth noting since it will last nearly a month.

According to the Wisconsin DOT, the Janesville rest area off of Interstate 39 southbound and Interstate 90 eastbound will be closed from Oct. 21 through Nov. 15. The closure is part of the large I-39/90 Expansion Project.

This closure is significant not just because of the time but because of the spaces. According to the Wisconsin DOT website, there are 44 truck parking spaces at this rest area. That may not be a lot for a truck stop, but that’s a pretty decent number for a state-owned rest area. Reroute accordingly.

More truck parking news via Facebook

It is the 21st century, after all. A lot of news tips comes directly from the citizens. Social media is making that easier. In this case, BamBam the Trucker has tipped us off to a new Pilot Flying J location being built in Ellensburg, Wash.

Thanks, BamBam!

New Big Three locations

In September all of the Big Three truck stops – Love’s, Pilot Flying J and TravelCenters of America – opened locations throughout the country. In total, they added more than 300 truck parking spaces to the infrastructure:

  • TA Express at 27638 U.S. Highway 385 (intersection of U.S. Highway 18) in Hot Springs, S.D. (70 truck parking spaces).
  • PFJ at 104 West Trefz Drive (off of Interstate 70) in Marshall, Ill. (64 spaces).
  • Love’s at 437071 E 310 Road (off of Interstate 44) in Big Cabin, Okla. (79 spaces).
  • Love’s at 100 E Commerce Court (off of Interstate 43) in Elkhorn, Wis. (102 spaces).
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.