A new National Coalition on Truck Parking will work to find solutions to the nation's truck parking shortage, after a DOT survey affirmed the trucking industry's complaints about a lack of truck parking information and capacity.
"Today we mark an important milestone that was born out of a terrible tragedy," said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau during the Friday announcement of the new coalition, calling truck parking "a personal priority of mine."
The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of the results of a truck parking survey mandated by the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” Act (MAP-21). Almost half of the state departments of transportation surveyed reported that truckers were forced to park on freeway interchange ramps and shoulders of highways, which represents a safety issue.
Along with state departments of transportation, the DOT surveyed safety officials, truckers and truck stop operators, and other trucking industry stakeholders.
The findings in the “Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey Results and Comparative Analysis” show most states reported having truck parking shortages occurring at all times of the day on every day of the week. ("Jason's Law" refers to truck driver Jason Rivenburg, who in 2009 put a face on the trucking shortage when he was fatally shot after parking in an unlit, abandoned gas station in St. Matthews, S.C. )
“We know truck parking has been a longstanding problem in our nation – we need new approaches to fix it,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez.
The National Coalition on Truck Parking announced Friday will include the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
Nadeau emphasized the Obama administration’s plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would provide $18 billion over six years for targeted investments in freight. This new funding for transportation could be used to construct or expand truck parking facilities and deploy tools for commercial motor vehicle drivers to find safe, available places to park and rest.
Watch the entire press conference: