The study, requested by the Iowa Legislature, found that the Iowa Department of Transportation provides 584 truck parking spaces at interstate highway rest areas, which are often overflowing with trucks at night. Privately owned truckstops have 4,052 parking spaces next to interstate highways, the study found - and they usually have some parking spots open.
Delia Meier of the huge Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott, IA, says that responsible drivers can find places to park. "I am not saying that there are not some truck parking issues, but I think the emphasis should be on a private-sector solution," she told the Associated Press.
The report contains recommendations from a task force that represented trucking companies, truckstop operators, the Iowa DOT, the Iowa State Patrol and other organizations. It was done by the Center for Transportation Research and Education at Iowa State University.
The task force recommended that state officials evaluate existing public property to determine whether those sites can accommodate more parking spaces, such as closed rest areas, truck weigh stations, and undeveloped public property. As existing rest areas are upgraded, the report recommended, the state should try to build for demand expected over the next 20 years.
The report also said that truck drivers needed to be better informed about the availability of both public and private truck parking spaces.
A new study shows that while Iowa needs more truck parking, truckstops, like the Iowa 80, are more likely to have parking available than public rest areas.