The American Trucking Associations, through its federation of 50 state associations, called on the governors of every state to prioritize truck parking with their infrastructure spending priorities.
In a letter sent to every governor, ATA and state trucking associations spelled out the numerous new resources provided by the federal government, including new funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.
Federal Funding Sources
“Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate,” the letter said. “Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”
The letter noted available funding, citing a memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in September 2022. The ATA letter lists examples of funding resources available under federal-highway aid programs, including:
- National Highway Performance Program
- Surface Transportation Block Grant Program
- Highway Safety Improvement Program
- Carbon Reduction Program
- National Highway Freight Program
The letter also noted that transportation agencies can apply to USDOT for grants under a number of discretionary programs, including:
- Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects Program (AKA INFRA)
- National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) Program
- Local and Regional Project Assistance Program (AKA RAISE)
- Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program
Also, the letter pointed out to governors that the Department of the Treasury recently confirmed the eligibility of COVD-19 funds awarded to states and local agencies for infrastructure projects. In this notice, Treasury clarified that state and local government agencies that have unspent money from their Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) can use a portion of those resources for investment in infrastructure, which could include truck parking facilities.
Dire Need for Truck Parking Investment
The industry has been calling for greater investment in truck parking capacity, citing safety concerns that affect the entire motoring public.
A U.S. Department of Transportation report found that 98% of truck drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking, often leaving them with no other option but to park in unsafe or unauthorized locations. And 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
“Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and our economy. Without them, the daily conveniences we take for granted—from fresh water to fuel to the literal roofs over our heads—would not exist,” the letter said.
“We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your state and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight. We hope you will use the aforementioned resources, as well as other non-Federal resources, to prioritize and address this serious safety problem.”