Truck parking meeting to reveal updated Jason’s Law survey

November 12, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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An updated version of Jason’s Law survey is expected to be released at the next National Coalition on Truck Parking meeting, and the public is invited to attend.

Recently, the Federal Highway Administration announced that the National Coalition on Truck Parking will conduct its fifth meeting from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. CST on Dec. 1.  This time, the meeting will be virtual and open to the public. To register for the event, click here.

Although the full agenda has not been released yet, the coalition will discuss an overview of planning, research and investment resources in regards to truck parking. However, the most anticipated item on the schedule is a presentation from FHWA on the 2019 Jason’s Law survey results.

Jason’s Law survey

Named after Jason Rivenburg, a trucker from Fultonham, N.Y., who was killed while parked at an unsafe location, Jason’s Law was included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act in 2012 to address the truck parking issue. The issue was highlighted when Rivenburg arrived early for his delivery and was turned away by the receiver. He was fatally shot and robbed for $7 after parking at an abandoned gas station about 12 miles from his destination.

Rivenburg’s widow, Hope Rivenburg, started a grassroots campaign to get legislation passed that addresses the truck parking shortage. Bipartisan bills were introduced in both the House and Senate in 2009, with a final version included in the 2012 surface transportation funding bill MAP-21.

Released in 2015, Jason’s Law survey is nearly 200 pages describing the nationwide truck parking shortage crisis.

Stakeholders, including truckers, truck stop operators and state transportation officials, provided input on the truck parking situation. The results discovered what the trucking industry has known for years.

Mandated by MAP-21, the goal was to address the shortage at public and private facilities along the National Highway System. Jason’s Law directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to:

  • Evaluate the capability of each state to provide adequate parking and rest facilities for trucks engaged in interstate transportation.
  • Assess the volume of truck traffic in each state.
  • Develop a system of metrics to measure the adequacy of parking facilities in each state.

Jason’s Law also established the National Coalition on Truck Parking, a collection of stakeholders from the public sector, transportation organizations, the freight industry and other groups to advance safe parking.

The law also requires periodic updates of the survey. Drayage and short-haul drivers are included in the latest version. In the first survey, parking for long-haul truckers was the main focus.

Government action to solve truck parking crisis

More than five years after Jason’s Law survey results were released, there has been no significant action to address the truck parking issue at the federal level. Federal grants have gone mostly to information systems technology.

In 2015, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin were awarded a share of a $25 million TIGER grant for a regional Truck Parking Information Management System project. Currently, the I-10 Corridor Coalition is beginning work on a similar system. That coalition consists of state Departments of Transportation for Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

Throughout the past five years, several states have addressed truck parking by creating more spaces at rest areas. However, those initiatives have barely put a dent in solving the problem.

Meanwhile, a truck parking bill is sitting in limbo at the U.S. House of Representatives. HR6104 was introduced in March. If signed into law, $755 million in federal funding will go toward adding parking capacity. Additionally, no fees can be charged for a commercial vehicle to access and park at any part of the facility constructed with the grant money. LL

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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.