OOIDA comments on FHWA truck parking survey

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 12/19/2013

A public affairs specialist with the Federal Highway Administration says the agency must first review and address comments stemming from a June Federal Register notice before proceeding with a long-awaited truck parking survey.

According to FHWA’s Nancy Singer, the comment period ends on Jan. 9, 2014.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has already submitted comments on FHWA’s proposed approach for conducting the truck parking survey.

In its comments, OOIDA suggested that FHWA survey 400 drivers, instead of the agency’s originally suggested number of 150 drivers and the administration appears to have responded to the recommendation. According to the Federal Register notice on Dec. 10, “the outreach to drivers by FHWA will now include 400 drivers.”

OOIDA also brought to FHWA’s attention that “the survey of privately owned and operated facilities should not solely include national, multi-state enterprises,” adding that “smaller scale facility owners should be included in the survey.”

According to the Federal Register notice, the U.S. Department of Transportation plans to work with Natso, a trade organization representing travel plazas and the truck stop industry, to “include small, medium and large-scale facility owners and operators in the survey.”

As part of the truck parking survey, a system of metrics will be developed to measure the adequacy of truck parking facilities in each state. OOIDA has asked to participate in the metrics workshop that will be part of the truck parking survey.

“FHWA intends to include OOIDA representatives as invitees to this event,” the FR notice stated.

A Federal Register notice was posted by FHWA back in June, the first formal step in the agency’s plan to develop a federal truck parking survey as directed in the current highway law known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century or MAP-21.

The provision on truck parking mandated in MAP-21 is known as “Jason’s Law.” It is named for Jason Rivenburg, who arrived too early at his delivery point and was turned away. Instead, he found a place to park in an unlit, abandoned lot in South Carolina where he was shot and killed for $7 in March 2009.

Recently, Hope Rivenburg, Jason’s widow, met with Tom Kearney of the FHWA about the results of her survey, which was released in November. Nearly 4,000 truck drivers responded to her survey, which outlines drivers’ responses about where safe truck parking options are desperately needed in areas in the U.S.

Once the comment period closes, the FHWA will summarize the comments and include them “in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection.”

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