Channel 19

Todd Dills

Truck parking casualties of the Minnesota government shutdown

| July 13, 2011

As if drivers and owner-operators didn’t have enough parking problems, the government shutdown in Minnesota will make it at least a wee bit — if not more than that, of course — more difficult to find a decent spot if taking off-duty rest in the state’s borders. Monday, a state judge denied the Minnesota Trucking Association’s petition to keep the rest areas open, stating that, according to the MTA, rest area operations were “non-critical government functions.” Read the MTA’s brief on the ruling.

With any luck, we won’t see the same happen nationwide if legislators are unable to come to a federal budget deal in August.

A Time story, “The Cost of Minnesota’s Shutdown: A Warning to Washington,” published prior to the rest area ruling, led with a quote from truck driver Dennis Michaluk, interviewed by writer Justin Horwath at a TravelCenters of America location in Hudson, Wis. Michaluk was one of several drivers who’d stopped there instead of within Minnesota, Horwath wrote, expecting clogged parking lots.

What have you seen in terms of parking in Minnesota this week or last? I’d love to hear about it here in the comments section or write me at tdills [at] rrpub.com.

Related stories:
Minnesota shuts rest areas in budget battle
One trucker’s video of April flooding on I-29 in North Dakota

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