Parking availability is a sleeper issue for the trucking industry.
With the noise from driver shortages, equipment deficits, and delays, parking access for trucks has been a relatively muted challenge.
Commercial trucks—many of them Class 8—were parking overnight on residential roads. Drivers, who could not find an appropriate parking accommodation, braved the infraction and, in return, many trucks were towed, booted, and fined.
The recurrence of these instances and resident complaints prompted increased fines and enforcement from local police departments. TANY’s President, Kendra Hems, did not condone trucks illegally parking in neighborhoods, but emphasized the broader issue of parking availability.
“The reality is that drivers—many of them our neighbors, family, and friends—simply have nowhere to park,” Hems commented.
Akin to other challenges trucking faces, parking availability is not a predicament exclusive to New York, however. All over the country, trucking needs space to rest its rigs.
DOT Awards Grants for Truck Parking Projects in Florida, Tennessee
Recognizing the challenge at hand, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) divvied up $36.7 million from its $1.5 billion war chest of competitive grants to projects focused on addressing the shortfalls of truck parking in two states.
- Florida – A $15 million project to create 120 parking spaces on Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando.
- Tennessee – A $22.6 million expansion project on Interstate 40, east of Nashville, that is slotted to create 125 parking spaces.
In addition, the new facility along Florida’s interstate will complement the boost in parking capacity. Electric charging stations, including at least six electrical hookups for refrigerated trucks and in-cab auxiliary power, will be made available.
The facility will also connect, via pedestrian access, to nearby commercial amenities, and (virtually) to the Florida DOT’s Truck Parking Availability System. The latter being a crucial tool for truckers to identify available parking locations.
In the future, this may be a truck stop truckers should make note of.
The DOT affirms that these projects “increase access to truck parking and reduces illegally parked commercial vehicles that cause safety hazards.”
The INFRA Grant Program
Overall, 26 projects (including the two above) are recipients of the $1.5 billion grant fund the DOT has allocated for highway, multimodal freight, and rail projects across the country. The program is titled Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA).
Courtesy of last year’s enacted infrastructure law, the INFRA program has been increased by more than 50 percent with around $8 billion for grants over the next five years.
Improved trucking parking is included in a $110 million grant award for the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market intermodal facility in the Bronx, New York City.
These awarded funds will not alone solve the parking woes of America’s largest city, but local officials have also formed a truck parking task force. Among several ideas, there is consideration of parking expansion on city-owned land at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and JFK Airport.
Contact one of our team members if you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in domestic logistics.
This is an everchanging industry. Stay current on rail and trucking developments through our weekly Road Map Newsletter.