National Coalition on Truck Parking: State, Regional, and Local Government Coordination Working Group Meeting 3 - May 30, 2018
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
May 30, 2018
A recording of this meeting is available upon request.
- Scott Grenerth
- 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 webroom. 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 introduced the Working Group Champion, Scott Grenerth.
Summary of Previous Working Group Meetings
Jordan provided an overview of the discussions that took place in the last two meetings of the Working Group. She shared that in the first meeting the Working Group identified priorities for it to address, and in the second meeting the Working Group identified products they would like to create and examples they would like to include in the products.
Working Group Products Discussion
Scott then transitioned the Working Group meeting to discuss the draft products Volpe created and distributed via email to the Working Group members. Scott stated that this Working Group meeting is intended to gather feedback on the products, decide if there are any other examples that should be added or changed. The Working Group products are:
- Talking Freight Webinar
- MPO-101 Brochure
- Parking and Staging Requirements in Local Zoning
- The Importance of Considering Truck Parking in Local Zoning
- Best Practices for Incorporating Truck Parking into State and MPO Freight Plans
Scott and Jordan went through the products one by one and solicited feedback from the group.
- The Working Group organized and hosted a webinar as part of FHWA's Talking Freight webinar series. The webinar took place on May 16, 2018.
- Speakers included the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the Memphis MPO.
- The webinar demonstrated how MPOs can vary State to State and region to region. Working Group members expressed that it was also useful to hear about the MPOs' challenges working on freight plans.
- Scott recalled that the Memphis MPO had described how it had attempted to survey drivers that were parked at truck stops, but could not because of truck stop policies on not soliciting drivers. As a solution, the Memphis MPO spoke with truck drivers while they visited repair and maintenance facilities. Scott considered this helpful information because it demonstrated the level of commitment the Memphis MPO had to making sure that drivers were represented in their freight plan, and it provided a method for getting feedback from drivers.
- Jordan stated that the contractor for the Talking Freight webinar series distributes notes and a link to the webinar recording. Jordan will share those with the Working Group when they become available.
- Jordan shared that this product includes content that was largely borrowed from http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/MPO_FAQ.pdf, a resource with useful information on how to get involved with the work of MPOs.
- Scott mentioned that he's happy with this document because it provides good guidance for individuals who are not affiliated with government agencies on how to get involved in the work of MPOs.
- Tiffany asked the Working Group how it plans to distribute this document to the truck drivers.
- Scott said that he can distribute it via Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)'s outreach channels, including its print publication, radio program, Overdrive magazine, and Sirius XM Trucking channel.
What is a MPO Freight Committee?
- A Working Group member stated that not every MPO has a MPO Freight Committee, so the Working Group should consider rephrasing parts of the document to emphasize that there are other ways for truck drivers to get involved with MPOs besides a Freight Committee. The working group should also add text noting that freight committees vary in size and how frequently they meet. In addition, the Working Group could add some information about how to get involved in a State's Freight Advisory Committee. Jordan stated that this document will be reformatted to be a bi-fold or trifold brochure.
How to get involved in MPOs?
- A Working Group member shared that she liked the list of resources provided at the end of the document. The Ask the Trucker website looks intriguing because it allows people to opine on where truck parking should be. Jordan said that Volpe will confirm that the website is still being used and is up to date.
- A Working Group member shared that the website would probably be easy to get people to engage with because it's simple to use, and might be more appealing to truck drivers than attending an MPO meeting.
- A Working Group member noted that since State Freight Plans are being created, this might be a good time to reach out to the website creators to suggest that they update the website.
- A Working Group member suggested that the Working Group list the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) as a resource in this document. He also suggested that the Working Group add "this is your chance to put in information about what should be built" in the Freight Committee section. He said that the Working Group should make this section more attention-grabbing for readers.
- Jordan stated that many of the examples in this document were provided by the Working Group, but Volpe also found additional examples through online research.
- Jordan shared with the Working Group that Volpe will be reaching out to every State, MPO, or municipality mentioned in the Working Group's products in order to confirm the information we plan to include and to get permission to publish the information.
- A Working Group member stated that the product should also include that the problem of trucks parking in the community went away once the City provided parking.
- Another Working Group member stated that the description of Weed should include additional information from the article that is already linked in the document about the municipal parking.
- The Working Group member asked whether Pilot was OK with the City of Weed locating its truck parking area so close to the Pilot truck facility. Scott stated that Pilot was OK with it, and that most of National Association of Truck Stop Owners (NATSO) membership would probably approve of the Weed, California facility. The additional parking draws more truck drivers to use the amenities at the private parking facilities. A working group member said that the private owners are fine with the State or municipality adding truck parking spaces as long as the maintenance doesn't fall to the private truck stop owner.
Elmira, New York:
- A Working Group member suggested reorganizing the document by different categories of truck parking, such as curbside parking, staging, hours of service, and parking for trucks while their drivers are at home.
- Scott said that even though this example relates to truck staging rather than overnight parking, it is still helpful to include in this document because it addresses an issue that is prevalent for truck parking around the country and that contributes to the overall negative response that many communities have to truck parking. This example can provide a best practice for how communities can adapt to help trucks make safe, less disruptive truck parking choices.
- A Working Group member said that the City of Philadelphia has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for truck parking concerns in the City. She has a copy of the RFI. Jordan said that Volpe will add the Philadelphia initiative to this product.
- Jordan stated that this example describes an industrial zone whose zoning was updated to protect its function as an industrial area for future use. Scott said that this is a good example to include in the product because it provides information on common questions and concerns that communities have related to things like buffer zones.
- Jordan shared that this example describes zoning changes that allowed overnight truck parking in industrial areas and also set forth a public process that hotel and motel owners can go through to allow overnight truck parking at their businesses. A Working Group member said it would be helpful to find out and include information about whether the City conducted public outreach campaigns prior to adopting these regulations, and whether the public provided push back as a result of the new regulations.
American Planning Association (APA) Recommendation:
- Jordan stated that although this information is more high level than the other examples in the product, Volpe included it because it could be useful to readers of the document. Demonstrating support from a national organization for including truck parking and staging in zoning regulations could help municipalities develop their own truck-friendly zoning codes.
- A Working Group member said that Decatur, Illinois recently announced that it's offering an incentive program to get a Love's full-service truck stop to come to the city. The article that discusses the city's announcement is located here http://www.ttnews.com/articles/illinois-town-loves-reach-750000-development-agreement. Volpe will look at the article and incorporate the information about Decatur into the product.
- A Working Group member asked whether any members are aware of any instances in which developers are required to build truck parking as part of their industrial development. Jeff said that he wasn't aware of any municipalities that have codified this type of requirement and this is a new recommendation that we should work with APA on promoting.
- Jordan stated that this product is geared toward planners and local government officials. It describes Jason's Law and the Hours of Service limits, and lists reasons why local communities should make truck parking a priority.
Why local communities should make truck parking a priority:
- A Working Group member stated that if a community has large retail establishments or manufacturing, there will be a demand for truck parking in the community. It is in their best interest for local communities to think proactively and provide safe, legal options for truck parking in locations that minimize impact on surrounding land uses. Volpe will add this to the product.
- A Working Group member from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation suggested that the Working Group consider future impacts of automated vehicles on truck parking. The Working Group member said that if passenger vehicles will be automated in the near future, they will no longer require as much parking. Trucks could potentially use some of those unused vehicle parking spaces. Volpe will look into this idea and decide whether to incorporate it into the product.
- A Working Group member stated that areas that don't have zoning, such as unincorporated parts of counties or parishes, are able to provide more truck parking. The Working Group member suggested that the Working Group be more specific about whether the practices being described in the product would apply to rural or urban areas.
- A Working Group member said that there is more truck parking available beyond the twenty counties closest to Atlanta. Since Atlanta is so large, trucks making a delivery in the city might need to drive a couple of hours to get to the nearest truck parking area. There would be benefits to providing truck parking inside the Atlanta urbanized area.
Truck Parking Funding Opportunities
- Scott suggested that the Working Group add a reference to Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) funding availability and how it might be used for truck parking.
- Another Working Group member suggested adding Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to the document.
- Jeff mentioned that the introduction of the list of funding opportunities should be clarified to show that most funding goes to the States. States then have the discretion to establish programs for sub-recipients, such as cities. Another Working Group member said that the DERA and Volkswagen (VW) funding can in fact go directly to the municipality. Volpe will clarify this in the product.
- Jordan stated that most of the examples included in this document were taken from Working Group suggestions at the previous meeting. Volpe will incorporate information from the Talking Freight webinar into this product.
- A Working Group member suggested that the best practices shared during the Talking Freight webinar be added to this product. For example, the document should include that the Memphis MPO performed outreach to the truck drivers by talking with them at truck maintenance and repair facilities. Volpe will do this.
- A Working Group member from the Atlanta MPO stated that he could send materials related to the Atlanta MPO's truck parking assessment study. Volpe will follow up with this Working Group member after the meeting.
- Scott suggested that the Working Group add an explanation of the effect of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate to the document where the ELD mandate is mentioned.
- A Working Group member suggested that the document highlight the types of truck parking needed. The document should also note that coordinating with the MPO allows for a more in-depth analysis of those different types of truck parking that are needed.
- Jordan asked the Working Group whether anyone had any information on the work being done by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). Volpe included this MPO as an example in this product because other Working Groups mentioned that it was doing interesting work on truck parking. Volpe will do additional research on NCTCOG's work and will add more information to the document.
- Volpe will edit each of the products according to the feedback received today. It will also format the documents to make them more visually appealing.
- The next Working Group meeting will be in August. During that meeting, the Working Group will discuss the final draft of the products.
- The Working Group will present the final document to the whole National Coalition on Truck Parking at a meeting in October.
- Jordan told the Working Group that if any members had additional feedback on the products, they should send their comments to her.
- Scott mentioned that it's not too soon to start thinking about what the Working Group should do to carry its work forward after the fall meeting.