Referring to the lack of truck parking as a “national concern,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the administration will utilize the 2021 infrastructure law to address the problem.
In a Sept. 29 letter to OOIDA President Todd Spencer, Buttigieg outlined some of the ways his department plans to tackle the issue.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation shares your view that truck parking shortages are a national concern affecting the safety and well-being of truck drivers and other roadway users, as well as air quality, energy use, and the efficiency of U.S. supply chains,” Buttigieg wrote.
Buttigieg’s response shared the trucking groups’ sentiment about the parking shortage being a safety issue.
“The administration is particularly concerned with the impacts that truck parking shortages have on driver safety, health and well-being, and the overall impact on safety on our nation’s roadways,” Buttigieg wrote.
Buttigieg said the infrastructure law provides funding resources that can be used for truck parking.
“Because truck parking is eligible under most federal-aid highway apportionment programs, recently released guidance for both the National Highway Performance Program and Surface Transportation Block Grant programs makes it clear that truck parking is eligible and specifically identifies it as a priority to address safety and supply chain concerns,” Buttigieg wrote. “We will use every opportunity to educate state and local partners about the eligibility of federal funding for truck parking and recommend states work with private sector truck stop operators and the trucking community in the siting and development of truck parking projects.”
Earlier this month, Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg announced grants totaling $23 million to build truck stops with a total of nearly 250 spaces in Tennessee and Florida, respectively.
Buttigieg is scheduled to speak at the National Coalition of Truck Parking’s annual meeting on Friday, Sept. 30.
The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Eastern. In addition to Buttigieg, representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration will be in attendance.
The meeting is open to the public. To attend the webinar, you can register here.
Representatives from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will be in attendance to provide an update on the Association’s efforts to expand truck parking capacity. LL