A Wall Street Journal story last week took on the issue of the difficulties faced by truckers finding a safe parking spot in widespread congested areas around the nation. The piece, written by WSJ reporter Betsy Morris, led with the tragic story of trucker Michael Boeglin, murdered in Detroit while staged overnight for a morning unload at a nontraditional parking location near a ThyssenKrupp facility. Overdrive has covered that story in a variety of ways over the past year, as Boeglin’s widow and other family members have engaged on the subject of truck parking around the nation in a manner similar to Hope Rivenburg, widow of driver Jason Rivenburg, who lost his life in South Carolina in 2009 in similar circumstances.
Trade journal Supply Chain Digest, too, published a story yesterday about the issue, naming parking problems one among several factors that make the job of hauling one that fewer and fewer drivers seem to want to take up, quoting Ryan Bowley of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association:
The lack of parking spaces is “a huge added stress to a driver who is trying to focus on operating safely,” says OOIDA’s Ryan Bowley – and likely plays some role in drivers leaving the profession.
In the WSJ story, Hope Rivenburg is sourced relative to the Jason’s Law truck parking provision of the MAP-21 highway bill, which makes available an unspecified amount of money to states pursuing public truck-parking expansion. To date, she notes, as she has here at OverdriveOnline.com within the past year, states’ priorities have been focused elsewhere.
Lisa Mullings of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, too, in Morris’ story, urged fleets to demand more parking from the private truck stops “with whom they negotiate fuel contracts,” Morris wrote.
Good news may be on the horizon, with results of a Department of Transportation study on parking expected within months, Morris reported, which could start a more detailed conversation among legislators and state DOTs about just where to direct parking expansion efforts.