(The Middle Sq.) – The Washington Trucking Associations and its nationwide counterpart, the American Trucking Associations, are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to faucet into federal funding to handle the state’s lack of huge rig parking.
A dearth of truck parking capability is a nationwide drawback however is especially acute in Washington, some of the trade-dependent states within the nation.
In keeping with a September 2022 state Division of Transportation report on potential truck parking options, Washington has a median of 69 parking areas per 100 miles of the Nationwide Freeway System, in comparison with the nationwide common of 142 areas. That ranks the Evergreen State at No. 44 within the nation for the supply of truck parking.
In a Nov. 1 letter to Inslee, WTA President and CEO Sheri Name and ATA President Chris Spear level out the challenges confronted by truckers – and different drivers on the highway – who can’t discover protected locations to park.
“When drivers are unable to search out protected, licensed parking, they’re caught in an untenable scenario, pressured to both park in unsafe or unlawful places, or violate federal hours-of-service rules by persevering with to seek for safer, authorized alternate options,” the letter states. “As a final resort, drivers reluctantly park in unsafe places – reminiscent of freeway shoulders, interstate entrance and exit ramps, and deserted properties – creating heightened security dangers for themselves and different motorists.”
The letter asks Inslee to entry federal funding within the Infrastructure Funding & Jobs Act, in addition to U.S. Division of Transportation grants and non-federal funds to extend parking capability and enhance the operational effectivity of current amenities.
Development of recent truck parking capability at relaxation areas or adjoining to personal amenities is eligible for funding, as are enhancements that enable for elevated parking capability at nontraditional places, reminiscent of weigh stations and commuter heaps, when acceptable.
“The ask is $755 million from the feds; this was faraway from the IIJA. Whereas many grant packages take into account truck parking eligible use of those funds, the initiatives compete with different infrastructure enhancements that are at all times the next precedence,” Name defined in an electronic mail to The Middle Sq.. “At the moment there’s a invoice working its approach by Congress (H.R. 2367, S. 1034) that may set up a aggressive discretionary grant program and dedicate $755 million over the course of three years for truck parking initiatives throughout the nation.”
State funds are additionally going towards addressing the dearth of truck parking areas, Name famous.
“The 2023 Washington transportation price range closing contained $10.8 million for minor near-term enhancements, and parking resolution plan improvement which we hope will assist with future appropriations for parking capability will increase,” she mentioned.
She went on to say, “In 2021, the JTC [Joint Transportation Committee] accomplished a Truck Parking Action Plan. A number of initiatives have been recognized together with reconfiguring public relaxation areas to permit for extra truck parking, incentivizing non-public funding or use of empty heaps throughout off hours, to call just a few.”
Inslee spokesperson Jaime Smith mentioned the governor helps ongoing efforts at offering extra truck parking areas in Washington.
“The governor and WSDOT agree that extra truck parking house – protected parking areas – is required,” Smith emailed The Middle Sq.. “The price range signed by the governor this previous session consists of the next truck parking-related provisos so we will work on this situation.”
These provisos of this yr’s $13.4 billion transportation budget embrace:
$1.2 million “to guage security relaxation areas alongside Interstate 5 and Interstate 90 for potential truck parking enlargement alternatives”;
$400,000 for the Freight Mobility Strategic Funding Board to develop an implementation plan for particular truck parking options;
$2.5 million for WSDOT to coordinate with native governments and personal entities to develop actionable suggestions for state help in growing particular candidates for truck parking websites;
$1.8 million for WSDOT to pursue federal grant alternatives to develop and implement a technology-based truck parking availability system alongside the Interstate 5 hall in partnership with Oregon and California;
$5.95 million for implementation of truck parking enhancements really helpful by the Freight Mobility Strategic Funding Board.
“Truck drivers are the spine of our society and our financial system,” Name and Spear wrote within the letter to Inslee. “With out them, the day by day conveniences we take with no consideration – from contemporary water to gas to the literal roofs over our heads – wouldn’t exist.”
Different signatories to the letter embrace Ryan Streblow of Nationwide Tank Truck Carriers and Jim Ward of the Truckload Carriers Affiliation.