The Parking Zone – January 2019

January 31, 2019

Tyson Fisher

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Every week, there are several news articles across the nation related to truck parking. They range from a state department of transportation closing a rest area to local city councils preventing the opening of a truck stop.

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.

UPDATE: Joliet, Ill., NIMBY residents not giving up

I have lost count on how many times Joliet has appeared in The Parking Zone. Nevertheless, here we are again. In October, the city council approved a new Love’s Travel Stop location despite fierce opposition. Naturally, the NIMBY crowed quietly walked away.

Just kidding. They are suing the city.

According to The Herald-News, residents (including a former city councilman) have filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the council made a “spot zoning” decision. Spot zoning is applying a zoning to a particular piece of land in a larger zoned area in order to circumvent rezoning issues with the city’s master plan and/or current restrictions.

The lawsuit alleges that the new truck stop will allow “a noxious truck stop/tire shop operation that is wholly inconsistent with the existing residential character of that neighborhood.” Looks like we’ll be revisiting this again in the future.

Then again, this probably has more to do with a council member not getting three-quarters of a million dollars for his nearby home that’s for sale.

Truck Parking Information Management System overload

The beginning of 2019 kicked off with a huge media campaign for new technology specifically for truck parking.

More than three years ago, eight Midwest states received a grant to implement a regional truck parking information management system where truckers will be provided with reliable, real-time information on parking availability. All systems are nearly ready to go, and news releases were sent out all month letting people to know.

Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin will be implementing their Truck Parking Information Management System this year. I received a reminder from every state individually.

I know it’s not MORE parking, which is what is needed. This is a system that lets you know where you can’t park because the lot is full. With that said, this is only slightly better than nothing. If you want to find out more, check out TrucksParkHere.com.

Love’s in Boonville approved for parking expansion

While residents in Joliet are trying everything in their power to stop a Love’s from opening, the city council in Boonville, Mo., unanimously approved to tear down a building to make away for the local Love’s Travel Stop to expand its truck parking.

That’s it. That simple. Thanks, Boonville!

Indiana getting rid of rest area popular with truckers?

Truckers driving near Dale, Ind., better plan well ahead if they need to stop in the area. The Indiana DOT has decided to close the rest area off of Interstate 64 at mile marker 59, according to WFIE-TV.

INDOT is shutting the rest area down after determining not enough people stop there. Apparently, they did not consider truck drivers. In WFIE’s report, several truckers mentioned how they rely on rest areas like the one in question for mandatory breaks.

According to INDOT’s website, the rest area has 14 truck parking spaces each in the westbound and eastbound directions. The next rest area is the I-64 welcome center in Kentucky…94 miles away.

The good news: INDOT plans to expand other rest areas, including additional truck parking. Stay tuned…

Charlotte, N.C., seeking solutions for local truck parking problem

This one is a mixed bag since city officials, law enforcement officers and residents all understand the national truck parking problem.

A story by WBT-TV in Charlotte, N.C., starts off by pointing out that truckers, because of federal regulations, are parking on highway on-ramps. Highway troopers, for the most part, are letting it go. So far, so good.

However, the increasing parking problem led to “no parking” signs on at least one ramp, forcing truckers to park away from the highway. As expected, nearby residents are not too happy.

Charlotte City Council member Greg Phipps told WBT-TV the following:

“And thought we could tackle it using signs and fines approach but with the fines being only 25 bucks – I mean it’s nothing. It’s not really a deterrent so it’s not as simple as that,” said Phipps. “It’s a bigger problem, a systemic problem so we’re going to take a more concerted effort to alleviate that problem working with NC D-O-T and Centralina Council of Governments to come up with creative ways to help with truck parking situation of tractor trailers.”

One resident said:

“I understand the trucks have rules and regulations and they have to pull off the road at a certain point. I don’t know if there’s a better place for them to pull but it’s a bit frustrating and I don’t know if it’s causing any traffic issues or not.”

Thanks for understanding, Charlotte. Hopefully, you find a reasonable solution that benefits everyone.

Maryland town residents trying to prevent truck stop that isn’t a truck stop

Residents of Williamsport, Md., have filed an appeal to a zoning decision allowing the construction of a truck. Except it’s not a truck stop.

In an effort to stop the building of a new convenience store, some Williamsport residents are arguing that zoning laws do not allow truck stops in the area. The only problem is that the proposed convenience store will only have FOUR truck parking spaces and six diesel pumps, accounting for only a quarter of all fuel pumps.

In fact, the developers have already scrapped ideas for an on-site truck wash to avoid being labeled as a truck stop. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. All it takes is four parking spots for some people in Williamsport to go full NIMBY.

New Love’s and Pilot Flying J locations

January was a slow month for new locations, but there’s still 11 more months to go. With that said, three new locations were added between Love’s and PFJ, adding more than 300 parking spaces:

  • Love’s at 9790 Adams St. (off I-196, Exit 52) in Holland Charter Township, Mich. (70 truck parking spaces).
  • PFJ at 703 State Highway 80 in Matthews, Mo. (170 spaces).
  • PFJ at 2430 State Route 530 NE in Arlington, Wash. (78 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.