A study released earlier this month by the Connecticut Department of Transportation says the state needs almost 1,200 more spaces to accommodate commercial truck traffic.
That deficit could reach 1,600 by 2020, the report projects.
The parking shortage is not news to truck drivers who travel through The Constitution State, but its effect on traffic were evident during last month's severe snowstorm. Within the first few hours of the storm, nearly every available truck parking spot was filled, The Hartford Courant reported. Trucks that could not get off the snowy highways blocked traffic for hours.
"What was left out there were the trucks that had no place else to go," Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, told the newspaper. In an attempt to prevent a similar situation after meteorologists predicted heavy snowfall in early March, Gov. John Rowland banned certain tractor-trailers from state roadways. The premature ban halted nearly all truck commerce in the state for more than 24 hours, though the storm did not materialize as expected.
Solutions to the problem are few and mostly opposed by various groups. Zoning boards and residents of several communities have fought proposals for new rest stops, citing traffic and environmental concerns. State transportation officials are considering reconfiguring existing rest stops, the newspaper reported.