Americans value commercial truck drivers and the service they offer. However, they don’t want drivers parking their rigs anywhere near their homes.
That was a key finding in a 2023 survey of truck parking issues published Tuesday by CloudTrucks, an IT-based provider that supports the commercial truck driving sector. About 56% of the 1,000 American adults surveyed were unfamiliar with the issue. About 21% didn’t realize that many drivers end up sleeping in their vehicles, reflecting a lack of knowledge of the inconvenience and safety risks they encounter on a daily basis without sufficient dedicated parking capacity.
Once these aspects were explained to them, 86% recognized truck parking as an important issue, and 95% supported the building of overnight parking facilities.
However, 80% said they would only support the construction of facilities if they were at least 3 miles from their homes.
About two-thirds of respondents called for more government funding to address the parking shortage, including the building of more truck stops and rest areas. About 43% said they would support relaxed zoning and land use regulations that could pave the way for more parking. Approximately 40% supported giving tax incentives to truck stop operator chains and other private companies to create more parking.
The survey indicated that Americans understand the difficulty of a drivers’ jobs and the value they deliver. The vast majority of respondents thought drivers were overworked. About 58% said that drivers were underpaid, and about 50% said that commercial drivers are safer drivers than the public at-large.
Despite the “’not-in-my-backyard’ feedback, the survey’s findings gave CloudTrucks executives optimism that the public at least understands the problem. Tobenna Arodiogbu, co-founder and CEO of CloudTrucks, said it’s important to ensure the “resources provided to truck drivers are proportional to how much we value their service to our economy.”
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was incorporated into the SHIP IT Act introduced in the House on Jan. 24. The act provides $755 million over four years (fiscal years 2023-26) in grants dedicated specifically for truck parking creation and expansion.
Entities eligible include states, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, which are allowed to partner with private entities. In addition to building new parking facilities, the act also opens up inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride locations to truck parking expansion.