Two of the trucking industry's leading advocacy groups have praised the federal government for awarding funds to address the shortage of safe and secure truck parking spots.
The American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thanked the Department of Transportation for awarding more than $300 million for five projects that either build new parking spaces or install technology to help truckers locate open spaces at existing lots.
OOIDA President Todd Spencer said, “As a truck driver, I can tell you firsthand that when truckers don’t have a safe place to park, we are put in a no-win situation. We must either continue to drive while fatigued or out of legal driving time, or park in an undesignated and unsafe location like the side of the road or abandoned lot. It forces truck drivers to make a choice between safety and following federal Hours-of-Service rules. OOIDA and the 150,000 small business truckers we represent thank the Department for its increased focus on resolving an issue that has plagued our industry for decades.”
ATAT President and CEO Chris Spear expressed similar sentiments: "“The severe shortage of truck parking continues to rank among drivers’ highest concerns, which is why we appreciate that Secretary Buttigieg and a growing number of states are making these projects a top priority. America’s highways are our shop floor. When drivers finish their shift, they deserve to know that they will be able to find a safe place to sleep that night. These significant investments in expanding parking capacity along some of America’s busiest freight corridors will help reduce supply chain bottlenecks, alleviate stress on truck drivers, and make the roadways safer for all motorists.”
On Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced funding for numerous infrastructure projects. Among them were five aimed at easing the truck parking problem. They include:
- $180 million for the Florida DOT to build over 900 trucking parking spaces along I-4 in Central Florida along four sites in Volusia, Seminole, and Osceola Counties.
- $8 million for Wisconsin DOT to reconstruct a Safety Rest Area along I-90 in Sparta, Wisconsin. This will expand the number of spots from 16 to 70 (a 430% increase).
- $12 million for Washington State DOT to deploy a regional truck parking information management system at 54 truck parking facilities along the I-5 corridor in WA, OR, and CA to connect truck drivers with available parking.
- $92 million for the Missouri DOT to improve I-70, which includes new truck parking facilities and truck parking information systems.
- $40,798,046 for a project at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Pennsylvania, which will include the creation of a safe truck parking area as an alternative to the current practice of parking off-site in unauthorized locations nearby.
Parking industry research has shown there is one parking space for every 11 trucks on the road. This has led many truckers to park on exit and entrance ramps of interstates, and other unsafe places.