PA Advances Truck Parking Study as PMTA Calls For Infrastructure Spending

PA Truck Parking Issues

There is a shortage of commercial truck parking along major interstate corridors in Pennsylvania. Trucks parking on highway shoulders and ramps is common during overnight hours and presents a significant safety issue.

As just-in-time deliveries continue in the industry, hours-of-service regulations require more down time, and strict local ordinances against overnight truck parking, the demand for truck parking will continue to increase.

For example, in April Bensalem Township Council Vice President Joseph Pilieri said, “this is not what Bensalem is all about. We’re getting far too many people using our open spaces for parking lots.”

Shax Express Cargo, a Philadelphia company, presented a proposal to build a 48-space, 2.75-acre parking lot at Winks and Marshall lanes to allow its drivers to park their vehicles overnight for its fleet of 30 tractors and 35 trailers.

Piieri said, “I think it’s wrong for the community. We don’t need to be a parking lot. Bensalem deserves better.”

While there are approximately 11,600 truck-parking spaces available at private truck stops, PennDOT rest areas and welcome centers, and Pennsylvania Turnpike service plazas, during peak truck parking hours, approximately 12,100 trucks require parking accommodations.

Both state government committees and statewide trucking associations are calling for more help.

Another truck parking study coming?

Pennsylvania advances truck parking study as PMTA calls of parking infrastructure spending

A Pennsylvania House committee has taken the first step toward addressing a shortage of truck parking in the state.

Data from the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee indicates there is a shortage of about 4,400 truck parking spaces across the state. The shortfall results in about 1,100 trucks parked on highway shoulders and ramps on a typical night.

The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to HR236, which directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a “thorough and comprehensive study of truck parking” in Pennsylvania.

The goal is to give these drivers the dignity to be able to park somewhere safe to take their 10-hour break where they have access to facilities to wash their hands and use the bathroom, maybe grab a bite to eat.

The resolution awaits further consideration on the House floor.

PMTA calls for truck parking infrastructure spending

PMTA and the American Trucking Associations are calling on Governor Josh Shapiro to prioritize truck parking with infrastructure spending.

They stress that, according to the U.S. Dept of Transportation, 98% of truck drivers regularly experience difficulty finding safe parking. With the volume of freight moved by trucks expected to increase by more that 21% over the next decade, the problem will only get worse.

“The lack of available truck parking has dire safety implications for both truck drivers and the motoring public,” the letter states. “When drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they are stuck in an untenable situation, forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or violate federal hours-of-service regulations by continuing to search for safer, legal alternatives.”

The letter concluded: “We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your state and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight.”

OOIDA supports federal legislation to address the national truck parking shortage via dedicated funding that would allocate $755 million over three years to the construction of more truck parking spots. All new parking would be required to be publicly accessible and free of charge.

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