Map of Interstate 94 in southwest Michigan.

Map of Interstate 94 in southwest Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has activated the Truck Parking Information and Management System on a section of Interstate 94 in southwest Michigan.

The parking system is designed to deliver real-time parking availability information at rest stops along a route to help truckers decide when and where it’s best to stop. Michigan joins Minnesota in implementing the program.

The corridor of the Interstate 94 that runs through southwest Michigan carries some of the highest commercial volumes in the Midwest. MDOT estimates that trucks make up 23-30% of all traffic in the corridor, which is the highest concentration of commercial vehicles on the interstate highways in Michigan.

MDOT says truck parking is a major safety concern along interstate 94 with many truck drivers opting to park on rest area entrance and exit ramps, in car parking areas and on interstate entrance and exit ramps despite there being under-used or empty truck parking spaces at private facilities.

The parking information will be distributed through roadside signs which display current information as well as websites and smartphone applications which drivers and dispatchers can use to plan with. The smartphone application also has text to speech capabilities to allow drivers to keep their focus on the road.