Missouri city to provide truck parking – at a price

| 1/28/2003

City officials in Washington, MO, have created a parking area for truckers in the small Missouri town just west of St. Louis, The Washington Missourian reported Jan. 24.

However, the parking doesn’t come for free. The city will charge drivers who use the lot $10 a month with an optional three-month agreement available. Truckers will also have to agree to follow a set of rules the city has set up for the parking area. For example, only fully operable vehicles can be parked in the area, and “camping” in the trucks is prohibited.

The parking is targeted at truckdrivers who live in the area. The Missourian reports it is a city court violation in Washington to park over-the-road trucks or trailers on city streets or in residential areas.

The lot is located in the fire department training grounds off Westlink Industrial Drive, the newspaper said. It is the second such parking area to open in Missouri in recent months.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association recently partnered with the Missouri Department of Transportation to convert two former weigh station pull-offs on the eastbound and westbound sides of I-70 near Odessa into a truckers' rest area.

That parking area, which can accommodate 28 trucks, does not have any facilities, but the parking is free of charge. OOIDA is paying for lighting at the parking area, and will also ensure trash pickup there.

In addition, several other states are pursuing innovative methods to provide more parking. Washington state legislators are considering a proposal that would allow non-profit organizations to build rest areas along the state’s interstate highways. And the Connecticut Transportation Strategy Board proposed in late December that the state spend $25 million to increase the number of parking spaces available for trucks after a state Department of Transportation study found an average of 1,200 trucks each night could not find adequate parking in the state.

OOIDA President Jim Johnston said 90 percent of the association's members had reported weekly difficulties finding parking spaces in public rest areas.