Novel ‘best practices’ parking examples data collection under way

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Updated Apr 11, 2018
Efforts continue around combating the parking issue, which most Overdrive readers have said in recent weeks has only gotten worse with the ELD mandate in effect.Efforts continue around combating the parking issue, which most Overdrive readers have said in recent weeks has only gotten worse with the ELD mandate in effect.

Former owner-operator Scott Grenerth moved on from a regulatory affairs role at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association somewhat recently. At once, he continues work around the parking issue via his role in a working group of the National Coalition on Truck Parking, and he’s also working with the Truck Specialized Parking Service company to expand their secure-facilities approach to parking — they’ve got a large lot in Detroit and are looking around the country for new possibilities in non-traditional locations for their secured one-way-in, one-way-out approach to parking management.

As part of Grenerth’s work with the coalition, intended to share new ideas for expanding truck parking capacity and information in order that states and private entities not always seen as truck-parking providers might implement them, Grenerth pointed me to a data-collection effort under way that he’d love to have more driver input on.

Scott GrenerthScott Grenerth

His working group is slowly building this spreadsheet of parking examples where a novel approach is on offer to combat the problem of a dearth of traditional spaces in many areas around the country.

Among examples it includes are cases like that of shipper Unilever, whose “safe haven” program began opening up better parking and facilities-access options to truckers serving the company’s Newville, Pa., warehouse, following their direct recognition of parking issues as early as 2014 in the area. (Read more about that program, launched in concert with and after consultation of a 3PL and carrier both, at this link to a Journal of Commerce story about it.)

Also on the list in the spreadsheet are the efforts of municipalities like Weed, Calif., and Elmira, N.Y., that are fairly well-known among truckers. Weed, Grenerth says, “created its own free truck parking areas adjacent to other truck stops,” effectively increasing parking capacity there. Elmira, meanwhile, “turned a park and ride lot from being just for cars to one for local truckers and out-of-town truckers [at a $5/day charge].” And speaking from the perspective of the municipality, he adds, “After they put that in, incidents of illegal truck parking” in the town went way down. “It’s a win-win when communities do this.”

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If you’ve encountered dedicated truck parking opportunities at a customer, offered by a city or other state entity, or have examples of novel parking solutions you haven’t seen elsewhere, take a moment to run through the examples already collected in the spreadsheet I mentioned above, also linked here. If you don’t see your example there, you can add your own best-practices examples via this form for the data collection effort. Grenerth and the FHWA-organized National Coalition on Truck Parking emphasize they’re looking for these items specifically, which might help guide your thoughts:

**Examples of involving shippers and receivers in incorporating truck parking in their distribution sites and operations.
**Creative uses of the right-of-way for low-cost truck parking.
**Best practices of including truck parking in State and MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) freight plans.
**Best practices on States’ use of truck parking information systems, variable message signs, and 511 and other technology.
**Successful truck parking public-private partnerships
**Examples of including parking/staging requirements in local zoning or development plans for industrial areas.

Basically, they ask, “where have you seen truck parking work in a good way (beyond a typical truck stop or rest area)?”

Share your examples, if they’re not already included on the spreadsheet, via the form at this link.

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