Connecticut board wants more truck parking

| Tuesday, December 24, 2002

A Connecticut board has proposed that the state spend $25 million to increase the number of parking spaces available for trucks, The Associated Press reported Dec. 23.

The state Transportation Strategy Board offered the proposal after a state Department of Transportation study found an average of 1,200 trucks each night could not find adequate parking in Connecticut. Robert Hammersley, a spokesman for the Transportation Strategy Board, said the state conducted its study after a federal study indicated the need for additional truck parking.

An increase of up to 600 spaces could be provided under a state Department of Transportation plan that would reconfigure parking lots at the 13 public service areas in Connecticut.

While the Transportation Strategy Board did recommend several possible funding sources, Hammersley said it was up to the governor and the general assembly to determine how the additional parking would be paid for.

Support for the proposal is not universal on the board, The AP reported. Board member George Giguere said the state should not be involved in providing truck parking. Giguere is the developer of two truck and travel centers in Willington and Southington.

"The state doesn't provide parking for any other business entity," Giguere told The AP. "Why does the state feel compelled to provide private enterprise with parking?"

However, Michael Riley of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut said states should provide truck parking for public safety reasons.

"People don't like trucks parking on the side of the road, but you just can't tell a driver that's run out of hours to move on," Riley told The AP. "No one wants to see, hear or smell us, but they want what's in those trucks."

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