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National Coalition on Truck Parking: State, Regional, Local Government Coordination Group - Including Truck Parking in State and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Freight Plans

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State, Regional, Local Government Coordination Working Group

Notable Examples

The purpose of this document is to provide examples of State and MPO truck parking plans. The State, Regional and Local Government Coordination Working Group provided notable examples of State and MPO truck parking plans. A few examples summarized here include:

  • Boston Region MPO and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
  • Memphis MPO
  • Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
  • Arizona DOT (ADOT) and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)

Boston Region MPO and MassDOT

In 2016, the Boston Region MPO completed a study on Rest Locations for Long-Distance Truck Drivers in Massachusetts. The study reviewed existing conditions, including availability, configuration, and the physical condition of truck parking locations serving Massachusetts and highlighted safety, efficiency, and environmental issues associated with providing appropriate truck parking opportunities. Some notable findings of the study include:

  • A specific need for a major rest location that serves trucks traveling on the northwest arc of Interstate 495.
  • A discussion of the available strategies and opportunities that would expand and improve truck parking locations in Massachusetts, both at commercial truck stops and at public rest areas.

To view the study in its entirety, please visit https://ctps.org/data/calendar/pdfs/2016/MPO_1006_Truck_Stop_Memo.pdf.

Information from the study was folded into the draft Massachusetts State Freight Plan update. They identified Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) as a siting, good neighbor and air quality strategy. Specifically, MassDOT included building or expanding truck stops on primary truck routes as one of the immediate strategies for infrastructure improvements. The freight plan identified the following potential steps to pursue additional truck parking:

  • Collaboration between State, local, regional, and multistate authorities to locate properties on primary truck routes.
  • Collaboration between State, local, regional, and multistate authorities to manage zoning, permitting, taxation, traffic, and other logistical and quality-of-life-issues.
  • Public-private partnerships.
  • Development of smartphone apps and variable message signs.

Additionally, the Plan discusses Truck Parking and Service as part of the overview of the statewide freight network.

To read more of the Massachusetts State Freight Plan, visit https://www.mass.gov/service-details/freight-plan.

A Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, marked with blue circles of varying sizes denoting the range of the quantity of parking spaces at overnight truck parking locations that include commercial services.

Figure 1: Truck Parking and Servicing Facilities in Massachusetts and Neighboring States.
Source: Massachusetts State Freight Plan

Memphis MPO

The Memphis MPO identified truck parking as a top issue in their Freight Plan, released in 2017. As part of the input into the Freight Plan, the Memphis MPO conducted a survey of logistics operators in the region. 81.9% of respondents selected truck parking as the biggest challenge.

One obstacle the Memphis MPO had to overcome in conducting trucker engagement was that truck stops had policies to prevent solicitation of drivers, which precluded surveys on premises. The Memphis MPO solved this problem by conducting trucker surveys at multiple repair shops, dealerships, and truck washes throughout the region. The MPO also conducted surveys online for their freight plan. Through their survey responses, the Memphis MPO learned that both truckers and the public had concerns about a lack of dedicated truck parking.

The Memphis MPO identified the following potential solutions to the issue in its plan:

  • Increasing spaces at existing public rest areas;
  • Constructing new public rest areas;
  • Engaging private truck stop owners to increase spaces; and
  • Improving parking information with intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

As part of the recommended strategies to improve freight operations in the region, the Memphis MPO recommended that "future transportation and land use planning for, and around, freight generating centers in the MPO ensure that forecast truck parking requirements will be adequately provided and consistent with guidelines specified in the FHWA's Jason's Law.1" The Memphis MPO also plans to inventory existing truck parking facilities as part of the Greater Memphis Regional Freight Plan.

To view the Memphis MPO's freight plan, please visit: http://memphismpo.org/project/greater-memphis-regional-freight-plan.

Atlanta Regional Commission

In June 2018, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) adopted the Atlanta Regional Truck Parking Assessment Study. The year-long study was conducted to implement a recommendation from the 2016 Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan, as the truck parking challenges were too excessive to be included in the Freight Plan Update. ARC also determined the need for an expedited assessment of the regional truck parking needs due to the implementation of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. The report is available at: https://atlantaregional.org/transportation-mobility/freight/atlanta-regional-truck-parking-assessment-study/. Findings include:

  • There is a parking deficit on most of the interstate highways in the Atlanta Region, and that is projected to grow significantly by the year 2045.
  • Ongoing effort is needed to raise awareness about the truck parking issue with staff and elected officials at the over 100 local governments in Metro Atlanta.
  • Over 90% of respondents in the study's truck driver survey said it took them at least 30 minutes or more to find parking in the region. This means a lack of truck parking has an impact on traffic congestion and diesel emissions, in addition to being a safety issue.
  • Zoning restrictions, high land prices, and land use conflicts make building new truck stops difficult.
  • Requiring truck parking as a part of new industrial developments was identified as a potential solution for addressing the parking shortage.
  • Truck parking should be incorporated into local transportation plans, freight cluster plans, and zoning code updates to develop local solutions.

Arizona DOT and Maricopa Association of Governments

The Arizona State Freight Plan highlights truck parking as a critical need both in urban and rural areas throughout the State. Arizona is situated between major freight origins and destinations especially during peak off-hour periods for many drivers. To accommodate truck parking needs, Arizona DOT (ADOT) set aside $10 million towards truck parking including a Truck Parking Study expected to be completed in 2018.

To develop the Truck Parking Study, partnership and collaboration was key. The study was split between ADOT and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). The organizations coordinated with MPOs, partnered with the Arizona Trucking Association and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and engaged public and private stakeholders including the Arizona Freight Advisory Committee and various departments within ADOT.

ADOT used American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) data to determine the locations of where truck parking occurs and if a parking shortage exists. Many of the drivers interviewed by ADOT prefer to park at State-owned, free stops, because they are safe, even though there are limited amenities. When these truck stops fill up in the early afternoon, other truck drivers park on shoulders, even when there may be a private truck stop 40 miles away with ample parking. This could be due to lack of real-time information on parking availability. Arizona is considering adding variable message signs to better communicate parking availability, as well as exploring using the app, Park My Truck.

The first working paper from the effort can be viewed at: https://apps.azdot.gov/files/Sitefinity-Files/WP1-Truck-Parking-Literature-Review-and-Best-Practices.pdf.

North Central Texas Council of Governments

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) developed a North Central Texas Regional Freight System Inventory in May 2013 to enhance the safety, mobility, and air quality of regional freight movements by creating a comprehensive freight system review within North Central Texas. This document recommends future freight policies, programs, and projects. The Freight Inventory identified a need for increased truck parking facilities and a greater understanding of truck parking networks within the region. It also identified the need for data collection on truck parking and what common concerns truck drivers currently have with regard to finding a parking facility.

The NCTCOG's Regional Freight Advisory Committee recommended that a follow-up Truck Parking Study be undertaken. The Study, published in April 2018, determines the locations and adequacy of short-term and long-term parking in the North Central Texas Region. The study includes a review of existing information from previous truck parking studies, results of data collection, results of driver surveys, analysis of regional Corridors of Concern, and recommendations for possible solutions for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Nine various data sets were used to inform the study, and a commercial motor vehicle driver survey was conducted to gauge what amenities might be needed at existing and additional locations.

Recommended strategies to provide solutions for truck parking concerns include:

  • State and regional strategic partnerships
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Technology enhancements and applications
  • Corridor-specific recommendations

To view NCTCOG's Truck Parking Study, please visit: https://www.nctcog.org/getmedia/b5a888c4-1be5-426d-a193-b91e93bdb1b5/TPS-Master-Updated-2018_FINAL2_1.aspx.

To view the North Central Texas Regional Freight System Inventory please visit: https://www.nctcog.org/nctcg/media/Transportation/DocsMaps/Plan/Freight/FreightNorthTexas2013.pdf.

Other Examples of State and MPO Truck Parking Plans

Other examples of State and MPO truck parking plans include:

Wilmington Area Planning Council. Port of Wilmington Truck Parking Study: http://www.wilmapco.org/truckparking/Port_Final_July14.pdf.

Development of Truck Parking Facilities in Miami-Dade County Phase 2. Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization: http://miamidadetpo.org/library/studies/development-of-truck-parking-facilities-phase-ii-options-for-implementation-final-2012-08.pdf.

Kansas Statewide Freight Network Truck Parking Plan: https://www.ksdot.org/Assets/wwwksdotorg/bureaus/burRail/Rail/Documents/Kansas_Statewide_Freight_Network_Truck_Parking_Plan_2015_2016.pdf.

North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority North Jersey Truck Rest Stop Study: https://www.njtpa.org/archive/completed-regional-studies-archive/the-njtpa-north-jersey-truck-stop-study-refinement/njtpatruckreststopstudy

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council Multi-State Truck Stop Inventory & Assessment Study: https://www.nymtc.org/portals/0/pdf/Fright%20planning/TruckStop_Study.pdf

Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee Truck Parking in Pennsylvania: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/STCTAC/TAC/Reports/Truck%20Parking%20in%20Pennsylvania%20-%20December%202007%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Regional Truck Parking Study: https://www.dvrpc.org/Products/09057/

Virginia Department of Transportation Truck Parking Study: http://virginiadot.org/projects/resources/VirginiaTruckParkingStudy_FinalReport_July2015.pdf

Washington State Truck Parking Study: https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/A72C532D-B825-4757-B4BE-F00ABF93A6D6/0/TruckParkingStudyfFinal.pdf.

The examples in this report show innovative solutions for truck parking applied in a range of situations. Suitability in other locations will depend on applicable Federal laws, State standards, and site-specific considerations. This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. It does not create any requirements other than those stipulated in statute or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.

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