Let’s Talk About Truck Parking: A Call to Action
There’s some important news to share with you about the push for better truck parking facilities. The American Trucking Associations, together with its network of 50 state associations, is sounding the horn and urging all the state governors to make truck parking a top priority in their infrastructure plans.
In a letter that landed in every governor’s office, the ATA and state trucking associations broke down the slew of fresh resources dished out by the federal government. Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, there’s a pile of cash on the table to beef up and expand truck parking spots across the country.
So, where’s the money coming from? Well, the letter spells it out pretty clearly. You can use these funds to build new truck parking areas at rest stops or near private spots. They’re even up for grabs to boost the parking capacity in some unusual places, like weigh stations and commuter lots, when it makes sense.
You’d be amazed to know that some states have already put these resources to work, either by beefing up their existing facilities or creating brand new ones. It’s all about making the trucker’s life easier and safer.
The letter didn’t just stop at mentioning the funds. It also gave a nod to a memo from the U.S. Department of Transportation, dated September 2022. This memo says, “Hey, you can use these federal-highway aid programs to get the ball rolling.” These programs include the National Highway Performance Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Carbon Reduction Program, and the National Highway Freight Program.
But wait, there’s more! The letter points out that transportation agencies can score some incredible grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation under various discretionary programs. These programs have some include the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects Program (AKA INFRA), National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) Program, Local and Regional Project Assistance Program (AKA RAISE), and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program.
In case you’re wondering about those COVID-19 funds, the letter clarified that the Department of the Treasury has given them the green light for investment in infrastructure. State and local government agencies can tap into their unspent Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) and allocate a chunk of it to improve truck parking facilities. How cool is that?
But why all this fuss about truck parking? Well, it’s because the industry is screaming for more investment in parking capacity, and they’ve got a good reason. A report from the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that a whopping 98% of truck drivers have a tough time finding safe parking. That often forces them to park in sketchy or unauthorized spots. And guess what? About 70% of drivers end up breaking the federal hours-of-service rules because of this headache.
The letter gets pretty emotional when it reminds us that truck drivers are the unsung heroes of our daily lives. They’re the folks who make sure we have the essentials like fresh water, fuel, and roofs over our heads. Without them, our lives wouldn’t be half as comfy.
For more updates and news, keep an eye on our website at www.mercer-trans.com. Let’s make the road a safer place for everyone!