National Coalition on Truck Parking: Parking Capacity Working Group Meeting 3 - May 01, 2018
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Contact Information: Freight Feedback at FreightFeedback@dot.gov
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
May 01, 2018
A recording of this meeting is available upon request.
- Brian Hunter, Florida Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Tiffany Julien, FHWA
- Jeff Purdy, FHWA
- Jordan Wainer, Volpe
Welcome and Introductions
Jordan welcomed the group to the meeting and provided an overview of the phone settings and web-room. She also stated that the meeting is being recorded for those who cannot attend and that the link to the recording will be distributed via email later. Jordan then transitioned meeting leadership to Brian Hunter, the Working Group Champion.
Summary of Previous Working Group Meetings
Brian provided a summary of the previous Working Group meetings. He mentioned that the notes that were shared with the group from the second Working Group meeting are in draft form and not for public distribution. Brian asked anyone on the phone who had not introduced themselves when they first called in to please introduce themselves now. He then asked the representatives from FHWA's Office of Freight, Tiffany Julien and Jeff Purdy, to introduce themselves to the group.
Working Group Products Discussion
Brian then transitioned to discussing the products that the Working Group had decided to develop. Brian gave a brief overview of each of the priority area products and listed some of the examples that the Working Group suggested be included in each of the products. Brian shared that the intention of this meeting is to get feedback from the group on the draft products that Volpe has created and see if there any other examples they would like included in the products, or if there are any edits to make. Brian reminded the group that the products were emailed to them by Jordan last week. The Working Group products created are:
- Creative Uses of the Right-of-Way
Case Studies of Including Shippers/Receivers
Considerations for Low-Cost Truck Parking
Brian introduced each Working Group product, and the Working Group members discussed them.
1. Creative Uses of the Right-of-Way
The Working Group provided comments and answered Volpe's questions about the examples listed in the product. Only those examples that received comments from the Working Group are listed below.
Highway Interchange Re purposed for Truck Parking– Miami-Dade County, Interstate-95
- FHWA noted that this project is a result of expensive land costs and limited site availability in the Miami area that make it difficult to develop truck stops and truck parking. Volpe will add this detail to the description.
- This example also shows how States can assist in creating truck parking.
- Brian offered to work with his colleagues in Miami to provide additional information about this example.
Truck Driver Convenience Areas at Weigh Stations– Tampa, Interstate-4
- Volpe asked whether there was information to add to this example. The Working Group said that this example does not need additional information.
Parking at Farmers' Markets– Statewide (Florida)
- Jordan asked whether the Working Group could provide additional information about this example. Brian stated that this facility provides parking for drivers who live in the area as well as for drivers who are passing through.
- A Working Group member asked whether drivers have to leave while the market is open and Brian answered that it depends on the market. The Working Group suggested that this be mentioned in the description of this example.
Parking at Weigh Stations– Statewide (Kentucky)
- A Working Group member said that the parking arrangement at these weigh stations isn't ideal for running engines overnight. Angled parking is the preferred arrangement for truck stop electrification to be installed and run overnight.
- Volpe asked the Working Group to assist in locating a copy of the icon that Kentucky uses on highway signage to indicate that overnight truck parking is allowed at the weigh station. A Working Group member said they would send it to Volpe. Working Group members suggested that Volpe include in the description of the icon that States are looking to standardize the use of that icon.
Parking at Weigh Stations– Statewide (Maryland)
- Generally, trucks park at the Maryland weigh stations when a snow emergency has been announced. Truck parking availability at weigh stations is advertised via Maryland's 511 system.
Rest Areas Re-purposed for Truck Parking– Statewide (Missouri)
- The Working Group suggested that this example include a hyper-link to the Noteworthy Practices article about freight that is related to this example.
- A Working Group member suggested that the document be reorganized to group together the rest areas, weigh stations, and tourist centers so that readers can more easily compare practices for creating these types of facilities. Volpe staff agreed with this suggestion and said that they would incorporate this new organization method in the next version.
Dedicated Truck Parking in the Right-of-Way– South Dakota
- Volpe did not have any specific examples of this practice in South Dakota and asked the Working Group members whether they were aware of any other related information. A Working Group member shared that South Dakota had converted Homewood Rest Area and Turgis Rest Area to truck parking only areas by eliminating rest area facilities. A Working Group member said that he would provide images of the converted facilities to Volpe.
- The Working Group commented that this type of work by South Dakota is the same as what Missouri has done to convert its rest areas to truck parking facilities.
Real-time Parking Availability Information for a Rest Area– Athens and Cleveland, Interstate-75 (Tennessee)
- Volpe asked the Working Group for clarification on how the truck drivers receive real-time parking availability information. The Working Group said that the primary way is through variable messaging signs (VMS), but that there is also a dedicated website that provides the same information. The Group suggested two points of contact, one at the Tennessee DOT and one at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as good resources for additional information.
Truck Turnouts Areas– Interstates 25, 80, and 90 (Wyoming)
- Volpe asked the Working Group whether this example included too much descriptive information. The Working Group members responded that they like having this level of detail. They said it provides good information for why this type of facility is useful in rural areas versus urban ones.
2. Case Studies of Including Shippers/Receivers
- Volpe asked whether the Working Group would like to include cases that are not yet constructed, such as Cambria Corporation's facility. Working Group members responded that would be fine as long as the example includes a note clarifying that it has not been completed yet. FHWA concurred with that comment. Much of what is being produced by the working groups are new ideas and innovations where implementation will often still be in process.
- FHWA also suggested that the Working Group include in the description of this case the advantages to industry in using this approach, such as truck drivers being able to stage at the location the day before they make a delivery, which improves the quality of the working environment for truck drivers.
- Another Working Group member suggested that Volpe categorize the examples in the product by the type of solution the case study provides.
- A Working Group member suggested that an introduction be included at the beginning of the product that discusses the importance of truck parking and why it benefits its community it's in and the country as a whole.
CenterPoint Intermodal Center
- The Working Group suggested finding out whether CenterPoint owns the land that drivers park on, whether they lease it from someone else, or have some other arrangement.
- The Working Group suggested that the product could also include a point of contact for each of the examples included. This would require Volpe reaching out to each company or State to get approval of the information included in the product, and approval to list a contact person.
- A Working Group member stated that there is a facility in Detroit that is at capacity and looking to expand. The member will send background information to Volpe about this project so that it can consider adding it to this document. A Working Group member mentioned that this location is located close to a major border crossing into Canada, and receives a significant amount of freight traffic. It is also located on a former brownfield.
Weed, CA and Elmira, NY
- Working Group members noted that the drivers that use parking facilities in Weed and Elmira are local as well as from out of town. The group would like to add this information to the description of these examples. Working Group members stated that it would be helpful for facilities like these to direct drivers to their location through improved signage. One member noted that their company calls all shippers and receivers and asks for the nearest truck parking facility. They noted that larger carriers don't do this.
- A Working Group member noted that there are two types of carriers: carriers traveling the same consistent routes and carriers/drivers who make deliveries as needed.
- One member noted that apps and social media provide a lot of the information that the Working Group members stated they'd like included in this document, including information regarding the amenities at each facility. Perhaps the amenity information shouldn't be included in the products if it's already available in popular apps.
- A member noted that if there were a shipper or receiver who provided to its driver's information about amenities nearby, that would be an example that should be included in this product.
- One member said that about one out of every 25 shippers and receivers have notes posted at their facility showing whether drivers can park on the property, or where nearby parking areas are located. About one out of every 40 shippers and receivers include that information on their voicemail recording.
- A Working Group member noted that there appears to be a conflict between the number of spaces listed as available in the description of Weed, CA, and the number of spaces that appear to be available in the image included. Volpe will confirm the number of spaces that are available in that municipal lot.
Meijer grocery stores
- Volpe asked the Working Group to provide a definition for "bullpen" to include in the description of Meijer grocery. The Working Group stated that a bullpen is a fenced area that is on the property of the business but not inside the gated area of the distribution facility. It's external to the area where trucks are backing up to make deliveries, so there is less risk in the bullpen.
- Meijer's Tip City, Ohio location has a bullpen that is closer to the distribution facility than the Meijer facility in figure six of the document. A Working Group member will locate an aerial image of the Tip City facility and send it to Volpe to consider including in the document in place of the current image.
Walgreens distribution center
- A Working Group member clarified that the City of Moreno Valley allows trucks to park on the side streets in industrial areas– the activity isn't specific to Walgreens. Volpe will edit the product to reflect the City of Moreno Valley on-street truck parking allowance.
- Walgreens and other locations in Moreno Valley put up signs indicating that trucks are allowed to park overnight. This is typically along designated streets in industrial parks. A Working Group member volunteered to send a picture of one of the signs to Volpe to include in the document.
Jordan asked for final questions from the group and overall comments on the product. She said that Volpe will update the product according to the suggestions made today. Jordan noted that Working Group members can feel free to reach out to Volpe, Brian, or FHWA if they think of anything they'd like to share after today's meeting.
3. Considerations for Low-Cost Truck Parking
- A Working Group member noted that the requirements for emptying the dumpsters varies based on the intensity of usage. Members suggested that Volpe note in the product the importance of having a trash receptacle at parking facilities.
- Working Group members shared that vault toilets are well-suited to lower use because if they are used frequently, they would have to be emptied more frequently. They're less expensive than the regular toilets because they don't require connection to municipal sewer and water or installation of well and septic systems.
- The Working Group noted that soil cement is better suited to warmer climates. The Working Group members didn't have specific details, but possible reasons are that soil-cement can erode from heavy precipitation and be prone to pot holes forming if the surface is not well drained. It might also have to do with freezing/thawing and plowing, because these activities cause a lot of wear and tear on the surface. Working Group members said that the soil cement example might be worth removing because it's not applicable to many locations in the U.S. Or perhaps the group could add information about other low cost paving materials, like gravel.
- Volpe asked the Working Group whether information comparing the cost of regular rest areas to truck parking stops should be included in the document. Working Group members suggested that costs be compared using percentages instead of dollar amounts. Percentages will allow more room for imprecision than dollar figures.
- The Working Group noted that the product should also include stormwater management requirements for when a facility is installed, and information about liability related to cameras and lighting.
- A Working Group member said that he has information about what States should think about when considering converting a rest area to truck only parking. He will provide that information to the Working Group.
- Volpe will revise to the products that were noted at today's meeting and will follow up with people who offered to send information. Jordan again asked that if anyone has additional comments on the products please contact her.
- Jordan shared that there will be a final Working Group meeting in about two months, and the larger National Coalition on Truck Parking will convene in the fall to review all of the Working Groups' products.
Jordan asked Brian, Tiffany, and Jeff whether they had anything to share. They thanked the members for participating and adjourned the meeting.