Truckers in Washington state are meeting with lawmakers to discuss options for addressing the state’s shortage of truck parking, an issue which is expected to face added pressure across the U.S. once the federal requirement for use of electronic logs takes effect next week.
It’s an issue that will likely gain more attention across North America as the U.S. mandate takes effect and Canada prepares to follow suit within the next couple of years.
According to Transport Topics, the Washington Trucking Associations is meeting with lawmakers to discuss the state’s shortage of parking for trucks, and legislators are starting to gain interest, grasping that the issue affects not just metropolitan areas but the entire state, said Executive Vice President Sheri Call.
“What’s kind of driving some of the issue is the implementation of the ELD mandate. A lot of people are attributing it to the ELD mandate and the lack of facilities available for trucks to safely park,” Call said. “You have to stop. You can’t go down the road and fudge the log.”
A 2016 truck parking study from the Washington State Department of Transportation revealed that the state faces a severe shortage of truck parking spaces.
To address this problem, WSDOT created a map that shows where truck parking spaces are dispersed throughout the state, accounting for rest areas, weigh stations and private truck stops. In addition to indicating how many spaces are available at a certain facility, the map details what amenities are available at each site, such as showers, food service, vending machines, fuel and electrified parking spaces.
In addition to offering maps and planning for technological platforms that broadcast the availability of truck parking, WSDOT is also examining ways to create more spaces. For example, many rest areas along corridors have lawn or grass space that could be transformed into a few additional parking spaces.
The issue of truck parking extends beyond Washington. The shortage of available truck parking ranked No. 4 on American Transportation Research Institute’s list of most pressing concerns for the industry.