A nationwide truck parking survey now expected to start this August is going to be "expanded to ports" to see what port-generated truck parking needs will be, in addition to those along the nation's interstate highway system.
That’s according to Caitlin Hughes, director of the Federal Highway Administration's office of freight management and logistics, in a presentation at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018 Joint Policy Committee meeting in Spokane, Washington, on July 18.
“We're going to look at the [parking] needs of drayage and short-haul local [trucks] drivers as well as long-haul operators,” she said, according to a report in the AASHTO Journal. “Truck parking is a safety issue. We need to solve this issue, but we cannot do it alone. We need to do it in partnership with the states and the private sector. We need to work together to meet these [parking] needs. All states have this problem.”
Speaking before AASHTO's Special Committee on Freight, Hughes said it should also help FHWA better identify freight congestion points on the national highway system. “We get used to bottlenecks – we create workarounds for them,” Hughes explained. “So there has to be a dialog between all of us. There are so many different best practices out there. Creative thinking needs to go into how to make this better for everyone.”
Dan Murray, vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute, noted during a presentation following Hughes’ that “we are in a crisis stage now” regarding the truck parking shortage, with ATRI data indicating truck drivers search for parking on average for 56 minutes per day, which represents an “opportunity cost” of $4,600 annually in terms of lost wages per truck driver – a number Murray said can represent up to 10% of a truck driver's annual salary.
“Congestion is an underlying factor to the truck parking problem, but different states have different truck parking problems,” he added. “It's a complex issue.”