“If you talk with any truck driver, it’s not only an issue of convenience, it’s an issue of safety,” US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at the Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing. “And I might add, with the idling that goes on, it’s even an issue of emissions.” Though originally included in the bipartisan Infrastructure bill, grants for truck parking were eventually scrapped. However, Secretary Buttigieg highlighted several programs that were expanded in the bill through which states could access funds for expanding truck parking:
- Surface transportation block grant program.
- National highway freight program.
- Highway safety improvement program.
- National highway performance program.
- Congestion mitigation and air quality improvement program.
Also, he was clearly interested in packaging the lack of truck parking with climate change goals saying he didn’t think it “unreasonable” to investigate the possibility of a carbon reduction program or a grant program for reducing truck idling at port facilities, both listed under the law’s climate change title. Frankly, truck parking was always a vital piece of the overall goal to increase electric vehicle adaptation in the commercial sector on a large scale.
The lack of safe, available truck parking has been a major problem for the industry for some time. This shortage was exacerbated by the ELD mandate. It is encouraging to see both Congress and the Administration take this matter seriously. There may be no greater emphasis on the problem than the fact that both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) are in complete agreement.
Lewie Pugh VP of OOIDA discusses this vital issue and that of restroom access for truckers. In this podcast. Fortunately the State of Washington is working on addressing these issues in a way which can create a template for other states to use, as well as the Federal Government.
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