6 Pond | www.pondco.com Give it a Rest Making the Case for More Freight Truck Parking E very day we are constantly surrounded by other drivers on the road as we commute to work, school, or shopping. However, we tend to notice these drivers and their type of vehicle only when one cuts in front of us, or we must deal with congestion. Case in point: Trucks, large trucks such as semi-tractor trailers, affectionately known as semis, seem to be all around us, taking “our space” on the roadways. But before you ask for the elimination of these vehicles from the roads, consider the impact of these trucks and other delivery-type vehicles to the economic vitality of your community and beyond. The world of freight, and trucks in general, plays an important role in our lives. It is safe to say that almost all of the “stuff” in our homes was transported via truck before it ended up in our home. In fact, this year, the trucking industry is expected to transport over 10 billion tons of goods throughout the U.S., which translates to approximately 70% of all domestic freight tonnage. 1 Despite the significance of the trucking industry, there are many critical issues facing this sector. One of the major issues that will be discussed herein involves truck parking needs. Before diving into the truck parking issue, it is best to first understand the roots of this problem, which are tied to driver fatigue and related crashes. Over the years, there has been an increase of trucks on the road, particularly due to interstate commerce. These drivers are traveling through multiple states, throughout the day and night with minimal sleep, in order to make a delivery in a prescribed timeframe. Given longer hours of driving without rest, driver fatigue tends to set in and has been shown to increase crashes, particularly fatalities, along our public roads. Due to this public safety concern for both truck drivers and the general motoring public, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates the trucking industry, has mandated a new policy for hours-of-service (HOS) for the trucking industry. This policy, which was instituted in 2013, allows a truck driver, as part of interstate commerce or long- haul transporting, to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours within a 14-hour period. Immediately thereafter, a driver must stop and rest for 10 consecutive hours off duty, or in a sleeper berth, before being allowed to resume driving. 2 Shorter hauls, such as intrastate travel (typically within a state) have similar requirements. For example, Florida allows for a maximum of 12 consecutive hours of driving before 10 consecutive hours of rest are mandated. 3 Due to these mandate requirements, as well as the increasing number of truck drivers on the road, the need for safe and appropriate spaces for overnight or general truck parking for drivers to rest is becoming more critical — nationwide. Surveys of current truck parking spaces around the country have revealed that existing spaces are located on both public- and private-owned property. For many years, truck drivers would typically use the interstate system to transport goods to their destination. Thus, the free interstatepublic rest stopareashavebeen, and still are, a major parking destination for truck drivers. However, since these facilities have become extremely popular with the drivers, especially given the easy access into and out of these facilities, truck parking spaces are at a premium during the evening and overnight hours. Drivers often have to plan their routes in order to arrive earlier in the day to ensure a parking space. The need for safe and appropriate spaces for overnight or general truck parking for drivers to rest is becoming more critical.