This just in from a Wisconsin Walmart.
“You’re forced with a choice … You can park illegal and hope no one bothers you or drive over your hours of service.” –Landstar-leased Robert Olson, quoted by Ben Rueter in this story for the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen
More news from the no-parking trail, as it were. Rueter’s report followed the appearance of No Truck Parking signs in the Walmart customer parking lot in Beaver Dam, Wis., likewise in the local Menard’s, given a paucity of truck stops in the area between “Fond du Lac and Columbus on Highway 151, which leaves semi trucks unloading or loading in Beaver Dam without a legal place to call it a day — or at the least take a break,” Rueter wrote.
As my colleague Wendy Parker has written before, the expanses of Walmart parking lots around the nation were once viewed as friendly places for an overnight, and were often utilized by truckers in locales under-served by traditional truck stops and/or far from interstate highway rest areas.
Looks like the trend in the un-friendly direction continues, if Rueter’s report about the situation around Beaver Dam is any indication.
Wisconsin as a state ranked down in the lower half of states where the parking problem is the worst, at 29th, in Overdrive‘s recently released parking analysis, based on reader surveying and, more so, on data compiled attendant to the Jason’s Law Parking Study. As our analysis pointed out, however, and as any truck driver knows, truck parking problems are widespread in this day and age, not confined to a particular state or region.
Washington is a top 10 worst state in Overdrive‘s parking analysis.
The slow loss of Walmart locations around the country as available options just compounds the issue. While some locations continue to be truck-friendly in certain areas, another location deemed off-limits to truckers is located in Woodland, Wash., though a recent story from the soggy location shows that, when adversity strikes large numbers of travelers, icy relationships can soften considerably.
Truckers were among the many stranded in the area when I-5 closed Wednesday attendant to a mudslide brought on by historic rainfall in the area and elsewhere through the region, as we reported yesterday. The local Daily News reported the relaxation of that Walmart location’s longer-term truck parking ban:
Walmart employee Chuck Seagraves said the store relaxed its policy of not letting truckers spend all night in the lot; about 30 big rigs pulled in, and more were parked on nearby streets.
Traffic had backed up seven miles or more out on I-5, reported Tom Paulu, with one driver noting he moved about 3 miles in six hours. Here’s commending to lot for relaxing its policy in the situation. If only such could happen after the stops fill up and that night driver reaches his last hour. Heck, maybe it does — can’t hurt to ask in an emergency, but of course.
Here’s to a safe weekend with plentiful parking where’er you may be.