Pa. Turnpike Unveils Possible Solution to Growing Truck Parking Problem
Semi-trailers are a lifesaver on wheels for businesses in the United States, but not everyone wants Parking of the 18 wheels in their communities.
Pennsylvania is at the heart of the nation-wide truck parking problem, where the initial lack of parking has worsened amid the dramatic growth of e-commerce and its need for door-to-door deliveries.
the Pennsylvania Highways Commission hopes a new system will help, by providing real-time truck parking information at 10 of its service bays, including the Allentown service berth off the northeast extension.
“There’s a truck parking problem, we all know that,” said John Parker, senior director of traffic operations for the toll highway. “The toll highway as a whole wants to expand (truck parking) as much as possible. We know that this is a great need for the trucking industry, to know where the parking lot is, to know where the spaces are … We want to make it safe not only for truckers, but also for passenger cars.
The toll commission began tackling its truck parking deficit three years ago, making changes to the six worst gas stations. Parker said the commission spent about $ 29 million to add truck parking spots to some of its spots.
The new Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS) installed this year will allow drivers to know the parking capacity of a spot before leaving the highway. Sensors are being added to count incoming and outgoing traffic, and twice a day, commission employees will use cameras to check the number of parking lots from the sensors, Parker said.
The information will be broadcast on electronic message boards on toll roads and will also be available for existing truck parking and navigation applications, Parker said. There are plans to add sensors to other service areas in 2023 and 2024.
Three years ago, trucks carried 867 million tonnes of freight through and within Keystone State, and by 2040 that is expected to nearly double to 1.5 billion tonnes of freight. transported by truck, said PennDOT secretary Leslie Richards.
As warehouses and industrial parks spring up around the Lehigh Valley, truck traffic follows.
As trafficking numbers plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic, cargo planes and truck drivers continued to circulate during statewide closures as people at home depended on purchases online.
“I can easily push a button to order something from Amazon, but this trucker has to bring it to me,” Parker said.
With semi-trailers hauling supplies, essentials, and late-night Amazon madness, come drivers who need places to park and sleep.
“(The drivers) want to get off the road and be safe, but the public doesn’t want them there,” Parker said.
Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association spokesman Brandon Moree said timing is especially critical for drivers approaching their mandatory driving breaks, and the toll highway system is a big step in the right direction. direction.
“Every time this truck moves, time is running out,” said Moree. “Getting off the freeway takes time for drivers trying to find a safe place to stop for the night. “
When service areas, PennDOT rest areas and private truck stops are full, drivers park on ramps, wide shoulders and “places where they’re not supposed to park,” Parker said.
Pennsylvania State Police are then tasked with enforcing and ticketing illegally parked drivers. Parker said he preferred the soldiers to deal with other crimes, “not a guy who is just trying to be safe and get some sleep.”
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Sarah Cassi can be reached at [email protected].