Truck parking bill reintroduced to Congress
March 29, 2021
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act has been resurrected by Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., setting the wheels in motion for the current Congress to pass meaningful legislation to address the truck parking crisis.
On March 26, Rep. Bost introduced HR2187, also called the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, to the House. For the most part, the bill is an updated copy of HR6104, which was introduced last year by Bost during the last Congress.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association lent a helping hand to members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to develop legislation that would receive broad support throughout the industry and across the aisle in Congress.
“We’ve been sounding the alarm on the truck parking crisis for decades,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “While Congress and the Federal Highway Administration have tried to address this issue with the enactment of Jason’s Law and launching of the National Coalition on Truck Parking, the continued growth of the parking shortage shows the status quo is not sustainable. Congress must provide dedicated federal investment to expand capacity if it is serious about addressing the problem.”
In his bill, Bost is requesting $755 million be allocated over five years specifically to add truck parking capacity. Funding would come from existing funds within the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and the Highway Trust Fund.
As was the case with HR6104, the latest Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act will not award grants to any project that charges for parking. All projects must provide free parking.
Funding from the bill would be distributed in the form of grants for projects providing truck parking on federal-aid highways or at a facility with reasonable access to a federal-aid highway or freight facility. Grants will be awarded to state and local governments. New to HR2187 are provisions that allow the private sector to get involved through public-private partnerships.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was introduced with five cosponsors, revealing bipartisan support:
- Angie Craig, D-Minn.
- John Garamendi, D-Calif.
- Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.
- Pete Stauber, R-Minn.
- Susan Wild, D-Pa.
HR6104 was introduced by Bost with Rep. Craig as the sole cosponsor. However, that version of the parking bill eventually accumulated 14 cosponsors before the 116th session ended. With a new Congress in session, Bost had to reintroduce the bill to keep it alive.
“I grew up in a family trucking business and spent years driving over the road,” Bost said in a statement. “Since then, we’ve seen the need for more trucks and drivers increase significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when trucking helped to keep our economy going. However, the number of truck parking spaces hasn’t kept pace. That means that drivers are forced to park in unsafe locations, which puts both them and other motorists at risk. Creating sufficient parking options for long-haul truckers will not only help keep truckers safe during their rest breaks but will also mean safer roads for everyone.” LL