Truck parking is nationally recognized as a top issue for truck drivers. It is anecdotally understood to be a statewide issue based on surveys and interviews. However, prior to the analysis that inspired this edition of DataLytics, it had not been quantified or understood well enough to take appropriate action. As with other strategic planning and investment decisions, a data-driven approach can effectively help alleviate this issue in locations experiencing the greatest over-utilization at designated truck parking locations or where unauthorized parking is most severe. Truckers park for a multitude of reasons, including;
- Home-stays (after multiple days on the road),
- FMCSA Hours Of Service (HOS) compliance,
- Overnight parking, other than for HOS compliance,
- Staging to meet a delivery window, and
- Regular breaks and refueling.
Each of these reasons is associated with different dwell times, which is the duration of a stopped truck. Likewise, each reason can lead to different solutions the Department could consider to help improve work conditions for truck drivers.
Statewide truck GPS analyses were further analyzed to identify where and when trucks were stopped for the time period of September 2017 through August 2018. A stopped truck is defined as a dwell time of greater than 1 hour. An inventory of known (designated) truck parking locations, both public and private, was conducted and is considered the supply (or capacity). The demand (or volume) is the number, and location, of stopped trucks. These statistics can help transportation planners better understand where volume exceeds capacity, resulting in an over-utilized truck parking location. The data can also identify where trucks are stopped in an unauthorized fashion, namely within public right-of-way (ROW). This insight can then be used to identify where and why truck parking is of the greatest concern. Then, appropriate solutions (projects, partnerships, policy updates, etc.) can be identified and tailored to each unique problem area. For more information, please see the final report on TDA’s Multimodal Data System Program’s webpage, here.