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National Coalition on Truck Parking: State, Regional, and Local Government Coordination Working Group - November 30, 2017

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National Coalition on Truck Parking: State, Regional, and Local Government Coordination Working Group Meeting 1 - November 30, 2017

November 30, 2017

A recording of this meeting is available upon request.

Welcome and Introduction

FHWA stated that the purpose of the working group is to develop implementation strategies for various State, regional, and local government initiatives that are identified through these meetings. These strategies should include actions needed and next steps. The group should take ownership of the solutions and actions necessary to implement the initiatives.

Previously-Identified Working Group Priorities

FHWA provided background on the working groups, including that they derived from opportunity areas that were identified in the 2015-2016 National Coalition on Truck Parking Activity Report. The working groups are focused on parking capacity; technology and data; innovative funding options; and State, local, and regional government coordination. This webinar was focused on State, regional, and local government coordination.

Since States are having to do more work with less funding, it makes sense to try to identify innovative ways to develop and maintain truck parking capacity instead of spending limited Federal-aid money on new construction. Several innovative ideas for increasing the supply of truck parking through State, regional, and local government coordination were identified:

  • Ensure truck parking is addressed in State and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) freight plans.
    Plans are updated every five years, so there is an opportunity to add freight concerns if they aren't already included in existing freight plans.
  • Encourage industry involvement in State and MPO freight advisory committees.
    States are encouraged to form freight advisory committees for people in the freight industry to get involved in the work of their State and MPOs.
  • Education/outreach involving general public and elected officials.
    Conducting outreach through regional meetings, industry groups, chambers of commerce, and others to work toward promoting truck parking needs. It's important for industry representatives to share how important trucking is to the economy and economic development.
  • Identify revenue sources to make truck parking facilities attractive land uses for local governments.
    Levy sales tax related to truck stop operations, and other methods to make truck parking an attractive land use for local government.
  • Include parking/staging requirements into local zoning for industrial areas.
    Ensure local zoning for industrial uses and truck parking. We hear often about truck drivers needing to park after making a delivery and they're not able to find parking.
  • Provide case studies for municipal parking projects.
    Elmira, NY and Weed, CA added truck parking as a source of development and revenue generation.
  • Use coordination between DOTs and trucking industry for permitting/operations as a model for truck parking collaboration.
  • Use industry events to highlight issues and promote solutions.
    The trucking industry has a public relations campaign in place called "Trucking Moves America Forward." We can incorporate truck parking into this campaign, or develop similar campaigns.
  • Others?

New Suggestions for Priorities

FHWA asked the Working Group participants for additional ideas for opportunities. The discussion was as follows:

We should try to work more closely with MPOs. The group could showcase successful MPO/trucking partnerships via a webinar with FHWA staff about incorporating trucking stakeholders into MPO planning.

The Boston MPO did a great analysis of where new truck parking is needed, and that got folded into the draft Massachusetts State freight plan update. They identified Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) as a siting, good neighbor and air quality strategy. See and (4.1 Immediate Strategies -- Infrastructure Improvements -- Build or expand truck stops on primary truck routes).

One participant will reach out to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to see if they could participate in this Working Group, or share what they've been doing with surveying truckers about their concerns.

Tennessee DOT developed an app that allowed drivers to reserve a spot at State-owned rest areas using SHRP2 funds. However, many truckers weren't interested in parking at those rest areas because there weren't amenities. It would still be good to hear from the Tennessee DOT about their work.

The Memphis MPO presented on their freight plan and one of the top issues was to improve truck parking.

Atlanta MPO is working on developing a truck parking plan. That might be an opportunity for the group.

It would be helpful to start a conversation about the impact of the Panama Canal expansion and how it will affect freight movement. It would also be helpful to discuss financing truck parking expansion.

This WG needs to acknowledge the large number of State and local idling laws on the books-- -- since it may be hard to "coordinate" with States and locals otherwise. Many exempt idling for mandated rest period and sleeper berth comfort, but some have tightened exemptions in recognition that onboard and offboard alternatives to idling are available. For a clear and authoritative description of options and their costs and benefits, see: and (first presentation).

Several States are developing their State freight plans. It would be good to hear from truck parking committees as to how they approached working with the State DOTs with developing their State freight plans.

Sometimes States think that truck parking is a private issue versus a public one, so were unwilling to plan for it.

Arizona was able to set aside $10M for truck parking from their freight funds. Arizona DOT used ATTRI data to determine where trucks are parking and determine if there is a parking shortage. Many of the drivers who spoke with Arizona DOT prefer to park at State-owned, free stops, because they are safe, even though there aren't amenities. These truck stops are filling up in the early afternoon, and we see truck drivers parking on shoulders, even when there may be a private truck stop 40 miles away with ample parking. We don't know why that is happening. It might be bad communication. We're considering adding variable message signs to better communicate parking availability, and we're also exploring using the app Park My Truck.

We were able to get industry participation by reaching out to the president of the Arizona Trucking Association, who made recommendations for industry leaders who would be strong participants on our working group. We use the Arizona Trucking Association facilities and provide lunch, and we generally have a great turnout. The truckers provide invaluable insight. We don't have too many Arizona DOT staff there, but we do have the enforcement and safety divisions represented. We also partnered with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for these meetings. The State is taking on communication and capacity issues, and MAG is taking on zoning, parking, and coordination with suppliers to tackle the challenge of increasing truck parking supply.

Particularly in densely-settled parts of the U.S., where there's a lot of local control and activism (like the Northeast…not so much Arizona) community outreach on the importance of accommodating truck parking (one of this work group's missions) might be a lot easier if you can make the case that you'll minimize noise and emissions by incorporating no-idle parking zones and shore power or other "truck stop electrification" (TSE) technology to enable truckers to shut down while remaining comfy.

The Clean Cities coordinators are a great resource.

Results of the poll:

  1. Ensure truck parking is addressed in State and MPO freight plans.
  2. Encourage industry involvement in State and MPO freight advisory committees.
  3. Include parking/staging requirements into local zoning for industrial areas. Provide case studies for municipal parking projects.
  4. Identify the best ways to work with MPOs (best practices, how stakeholders can be involved, barriers to entry.)

FHWA introduced Scott Grenerth, the champion for the group. Scott drove for 13 years commercially, then for eight years as an independent driver. He now works at the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and has been working for five years on regulatory issues. Truck parking was his number one concern when he was a driver because it is a safety issue.

Ideas for Implementation

  1. Ensure truck parking is addressed in State and MPO freight plans.
    • The group could develop a list of best practices for truck parking being considered in State or MPO freight plans. This list could be shared with other States who are unsure of how to incorporate freight.
    • A lot of States don't realize they have a truck parking problem. It would be helpful to be able to show them that they do in fact have a problem. The parking survey was helpful to make people think about their parking situation. Perhaps we can build a similar survey and ask people to fill it out.
    • When truck parking starts to become a legal issue, the industry and States start to listen. It would be interesting to know how States are going to start enforcing the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) law.
    • It would help get municipalities to support truck parking facilities if we say "we're going to make it clean and we're going to make it quiet" by using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds to electrify truck stops and reduce emissions.
  2. Encourage industry involvement in State and MPO freight advisory committees.
    • Arizona can serve as a best practice example. It would be great to get the State trucking associations involved in State DOT and MPO planning.
    • A lot of truck parking stakeholders don't understand how they fit in to the State or MPO planning process. If the Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) gets a better understanding, it can help spread this information through its members. There can be increased awareness of how to participate in planning by having more coordination and dialogue at the private parking facilities. One example of this is the partnership between Flying Jay and Utah to build State truck parking facilities adjacent to a private truck stop, and Flying Jay operates and maintains the State parking facility.
    • It would be helpful to demonstrate to States and MPOs the benefits that can come from coordinating with private industry.
  3. Include parking/staging requirements into local zoning for industrial areas. Provide case studies for municipal parking projects.
    • We could encourage communities to plan and stay ahead of potential truck parking problems by showing that planning for parking can make your facility more attractive to truck drivers.
    • Through this working group, we could show companies the positive impacts that Elmira, New York and Weed, California have experienced by staying at the forefront of truck parking requirements. Another positive example is the program in Winterhaven, Florida requires high visibility of the drivers that park and exit their vehicles.
  4. Identify the best ways to work with MPOs (best practices, how stakeholders can be involved, barriers to entry)
    • One truck driver had drivers send letters to MPOs based on an interactive map to talk about the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act funds and truck eligibility. She received responses from some MPOs, and not from others.
    • The group could host a webinar and ask the MPOs to present how they consider freight in their planning. The group should include an MPO that has faced challenges, or "failed." We don't want to focus exclusively on the successes. The group could host a Talking Freight webinar on these issues, since the audience and set up already exists. Scott could do the introductory statements for the webinar.

Next Steps

  • One participant will reach out to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to see how they've worked to increase truck parking and to invite them to participate in this group. She'll also invite Ohio Clean Fuels.
  • The group will develop a compendium of best practices, including issues, challenges, and opportunities for truck parking coordination amongst stakeholders. The document should be short and useful for all stakeholders. Examples of use may include presenting at community meetings or MPO meetings.
  • The group could host a webinar for shippers and receivers on how to be a good shipper for your carrier. The Working Group could partner with the Smart Way group in Ann Arbor and discuss the appointment and parking issue. Receivers sometimes don't see the impact they have on trucking. Two links shared by Abby Swaine in the chat pod:
  • The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for the week of February 12, 2018. Read-ahead materials will be provided.
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