Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal-aid for Truck Parking Infrastructure Improvements

States may receive millions to improve truck parking infrastructure - how should they spend the money?

Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act

Twenty years ago, the Federal Highway Administration published a study highlighting the inadequacies of U.S. truck parking infrastructure. The report identified a truck parking shortage that endangered truck drivers and the general public by forcing truckers to drive while tired as they searched for parking or park in unsafe locations, such as on the shoulder of the highway.

Two decades later, the parking shortage is still a problem, but help may be on the way. If Congress passes the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act later this year, it will provide states with $755 million to expand and improve their truck parking infrastructure.

That money will make a significant difference — if policymakers spend the money the right way. What is the right way? A group of researchers from truck monitoring firm EROAD and the University of of Arkansas’ Freight Transportation Data Research Lab may be able to help answer that question.

EROAD’s Gareth Robins, Yin Long, and Nishita Balamuralikrishna recently partnered with the U of A’s Sarah Hernandez and Sanjeev Bhurtyal to create a system for measuring the quality of each state’s truck parking infrastructure. After analyzing anonymous truck GPS data and electronic driver logs, the system assigns a Parking Score based, largely, on how often drivers are able to find safe, adequate parking within their allotted hours of service (HOS).

Hours of Service

HOS are an important consideration when assessing parking infrastructure. If drivers must exceed their daily HOS limit to find a designated parking area with available space, they may be at greater risk of crashing — researchers have found that fatigue-related accidents become much more likely after 9.5 hours of driving. Drivers who exceed HOS limits to find parking also risk being ticketed if their trip does not meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s definition of personal conveyance.

On the flip side of the HOS issue, concerns over parking availability can cause drivers to “take what they can get” and park well before they use up their allotted hours, limiting their earning potential and making supply chains needlessly inefficient.

Parking Scores

If the Truck Parking Safety Improve Act passes, federal policymakers will have to decide how to divide the funds between states. The EROAD/U of A team applied their model to the 48 contiguous states, producing results that could help federal officials prioritize funding.

The map below shows state level Parking Scores. Since 10 would be a perfect Parking Score and no state scored above an 8, it is clear that every state has truck parking issues. But some have bigger problems than others. Map showing each state's parking score.

The system can also analyze truck parking infrastructure at the county level. That means it could help states write impactful funding requests if the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act passes — and spend the funds wisely once they receive them. The map below shows Parking Scores for Arkansas counties.

Part of the Solution?

While the EROAD/U of A system could help assure that federal funds go where they are most needed, officials would also want to consider information from computer-based models such as those Sarah Hernandez and her students create in the Freight Transportation Data Research Lab.

Hernandez notes that parking infrastructure is part of a system, so changes in one county may produce unexpected ripple effects counties away.

“Let’s say you have enough money to improve five facilities. Should they be the five most overcrowded facilities? Because if you add 100 spaces to the most overcrowded facility and more drivers choose to park there, the second most overcrowded facility may no longer be the second most overcrowded. Now you’ve displaced the demand somewhere else... modeling can predict those shifts.”

Related Resource

Download the Paper

Truck Driver Burnout: Ways Carriers Can Fight Stress-Related Turnover
This whitepaper covers the main points of stressors that truck drivers experience and how to mitigate burnout, slowing turnover. Download Now!

Article Topics

University of Arkansas News & Resources

J.B. Hunt, U of A Collaboration Focuses on Future of Supply Chain
Fighting Scalping Bots May Be a Losing Battle for Retailers
Truck Driver Burnout: Ways Carriers Can Fight Stress-Related Turnover
Realizing the Promise of Retail Media Networks
Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal-aid for Truck Parking Infrastructure Improvements
Inflation and Healthcare Supply Chains
Getting Online Shoppers to Choose No-Rush Shipping Is Easier Than You Think
More University of Arkansas

Latest in Transportation

Artificial Intelligence to Drive M&A Activity in Supply Chain
US Container Traffic Boosted by Back-to-School Rush
No Surcharge for Holiday Packages, USPS says
Port Everglades: Expansion and Sustainability Efforts for the Future
Moody’s: Carbon Offsets Open Supply Chains Up to Financial, Reputational Risks
Shippers Focus on Yield Management as Rates Continue to Rise
ASCM Releases Top 10 Supply Chain Trends for 2024
More Transportation

From their first class to graduation, students in the J.B. Hunt Transport Department of Supply Chain Management work on real problems with world-class faculty and industry-leading partners. Our expert faculty, talented students, and un-paralleled collaboration with industry has led us to becoming the #1 ranked undergraduate and #2 ranked graduate Supply Chain Management programs in North America by Gartner.

View University of Arkansas company profile


Featured Downloads

Becoming a Shipper of Choice
Becoming a Shipper of Choice
C3 solutions' scheduling software streamlines the shipping process.
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Political landscapes shift overnight, global trade is constantly changing, consumers demand increasingly personalized service and smaller day-to-day challenges hit without warning. If...

Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
The Rapid Performance Evaluation identifies opportunities and potential improvements in every aspect of warehouse logistics operations; performance, productivity, service, quality, and systems.
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the potential of various resources available in a warehouse and how they can be utilized...
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
A whitepaper on supply chain insights gleaned at the LEED-certified gold Cleveland transportation and sustainability summit.