The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Coalition on Truck Parking released its 2015-2016 activity report detailing ideas put forth for expanding truck parking nationwide during a series of regional truck parking stakeholder meetings held last year.
The report documents stakeholder ideas with respect to truck parking capacity expansion, funding and finance, technology and data, as well as government coordination and planning.
DOT kicked off a national dialogue between the government and industry stakeholders on truck parking in late 2015 after releasing a federally mandated survey of truck parking volume and capacity in the United States.
Coalition partners include NATSO, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. Members from each of the associations participated in four regional stakeholder meetings last year as well as a national meeting in Washington, D.C.
With respect to truckstops, ideas in the report for expanding truck parking capacity include:
- promoting the development of additional truck parking capacity through contractual relationships between private truckstop operators and trucking firms, similar to existing fuel contracts;
- expanding truck parking facilities through agreements whereby state Departments of Transportation build new truck parking adjacent to existing truckstops and the truckstop provides litter control and basic site maintenance;
- exploring the use of tax incentives for the private sector to build new parking capacity;
- and developing a guidebook on best management practices to minimize the financial costs of building and maintaining truck parking for private truckstops and public facilities.
A model for paid parking arrangements at private facilities also was discussed as well as the need to involve truckstops in state advisory committees and regional transportation planning meetings to advocate for truck parking needs. Truckstops frequently encounter local government and citizen opposition when they seek to expand truckstop facilities.
During each of the meetings last year, NATSO reminded DOT and stakeholders that commercial rest areas have a negative effect on truck parking. NATSO specifically pointed to the solicitation of public comment on expanding the definition of vending at commercial rest areas, and reminded stakeholders that truckstops and travel plazas are the primary providers of truck parking in the United States and need a healthy business climate in order to operate and expand. Any proposal that makes the business environment more difficult for NATSO members will be counter-productive.
NATSO also urged state DOT attendees and other stakeholders to participate in and encourage the use of Park My Truck, a mobile app launched by NATSO, ATA and the American Transportation Research Institute and designed to help truck drivers find available truck parking.
FHWA plans to establish stakeholder working groups to further explore the ideas in the report and to advance any viable options. NATSO will participate in each of those working groups.
NATSO continues to work with all truck parking stakeholders to address truck parking concerns.
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