Washington state bill seeks to address truck parking shortage

January 6, 2022

Keith Goble

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A Washington state lawmaker has filed a bill for the upcoming regular session that is intended to reduce emissions and safety risks caused by inadequate commercial truck parking.

Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, is behind a bill to provide tax incentives to increase truck parking options around the state and at ports.

Short supply cited

Griffey, who is a member of the House Transportation Committee, wrote in the bill that the demand for truck parking in Washington “far exceeds supply.”

“In a 2016 Washington state department of transportation survey, over 60% of truckers reported sending an hour or more per day looking for parking,” Griffey wrote. “The shortage of truck parking stifles economic growth, increases pollution, and makes our roadways less safe as fatigued drivers cannot find a safe place to park.”

He adds that a workshop of the Federal Highway Administration and the Washington State Department of Transportation found that the biggest hurdles for expanding capacity are high real estate costs and community opposition.

Offering tax incentives viewed as part of solution

The truck parking bill, HB1657, would add capacity through tax reductions associated with expanding existing parking and developing new parking.

Specifically, all real and personal property would be exempt from property txes at a time when there are a minimum of 10 “safe, overnight commercial truck parking spaces constructed.”

Truck parking spaces must be a minimum of 11 feet wide and 54 feet long.

Sales tax related to materials and labor to construct parking would also be waived.

HB1657 awaits assignment to committee for the regular session that begins Jan. 10.

Addressing a high-priority concern

Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs, said Griffey’s bill helps to address a long-standing concern.

“The lack of safe truck parking has been a national crisis for decades. By providing tax incentives for private industry to add new capacity, HB1657 is a meaningful effort to address what is always a high priority for our nation’s truck drivers. Fingers crossed this bill has enough support to become law.” LL

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.