Commercial Motor Vehicle Parking Shortage

Commercial Motor Vehicle Parking Shortage

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    The Conference Report accompanying the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-55, 125 Stat. 552 requested the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to: "study the shortage of commercial motor vehicle parking, including the impact of such on operators’ compliance with federal safety requirements, and to report findings to the Committees on Appropriations within 180- days of enactment of this Act." Several national studies have estimated the scope of the truck parking shortage, examined the role of public and private sectors in addressing the shortage, and defined safety implications tied to the shortage of truck parking opportunities. Of significant note, the FHWA convened a “Rest Area Forum” in 1999 and published the Study of Adequacy of Commercial Truck Parking Facilities in 2002. The study found that existing demand for truck parking spaces outstripped the available supply, projected increases in vehicle miles of travel by truck would worsen the problem, and truck parking shortages have safety implications. Other national studies published during that time reached similar conclusions. This report updates the major findings of these studies with current estimates and forecasts of long-distance truck activity, information from the Truck Parking Pilot Grant Program, and observations made by the safety enforcement community. Although the updated information in this report is largely anecdotal, the evidence indicates that truck parking shortages remain widespread and, at least in some geographic areas, acute. Anticipated growth in truck movements will exacerbate the shortages unless there is improved utilization of existing parking capacity and investment in additional capacity. The private sector invests in commercial truck stops where profitable, and the FHWA recommended in 2002 additional actions such as creating public-private partnerships to provide additional capacity where needed.
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