The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act may not have had money earmarked for truck parking, but the battle to increase commercial truck parking spots is not over just yet.
Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA, has written a letter to Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, to ask for more parking spots.
Much Ado About Parking
Because certain aspects of government require a little more flexibility than getting approval from the House, Senate, President, and Courts, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has money set aside to tackle issues not explicitly mentioned in the writing of the bill/law. Todd Spencer and the OOIDA are asking the DOT to apply $1 billion to additional truck parking spots.
In his letter, Spencer cites how truck parking was almost a part of the soon-to-be law outright, but that congressional compromise left it out to make the writing more succinct.
Truck parking is one of the greatest issues the trucking industry has to tackle. With approximately 300,000 parking spots across the nation and 2,000,000 trucks to fill them, it does not take a mathematician to figure out that some people, even in the best-case scenario, are parking illegally. Parking in areas with no lighting or on the side of the freeway adds safety risks that are completely unnecessary for an already fairly dangerous job.
Spencer’s letter comes at a critical time in our nation’s history, with the holiday season and economic fallout from COVID-19 causing supply chain issues and shortages for everything from bacon to prescription bottles.
“Studies indicate truckers spend on average 56 minutes a day of driving time looking for parking. By reducing this wasted time, USDOT can help alleviate supply chain issues by enabling drivers to be more efficient” Spencer writes.
Should the federal government ignore the need for truck parking, there may come a time for the private sector to start charging drivers for parking. The idea of paying for parking that would normally be free may sound ludicrous at first, but saving almost an hour off the workday has to be worth the squeeze.
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