Truckers in Washington state could find more empty parking spots

| 8/26/2005

The parking situation in the state of Washington may be looking up.

The state Department of Transportation is conducting a study into drivers’ parking habits and plans to use the information to make recommendations to the Legislature in 2006.

In addition, Dan Alsaker, the operator of eight Flying J Travel Plaza franchises near Spokane , WA , is working on developing a 100-space truck plaza in nearby Sumner , WA , to partially replace spaces that were lost when a truck stop in Federal Way was shut down and replaced with a strip mall.

According to The ( Tacoma ) News Tribune, parking spaces for trucks in that part of the state are difficult to come by. So much so the state’s DOT has hired a consultant to survey truck drivers and determine what their parking habits are.

The findings, along with DOT recommendations, will be reported to the Legislature by Dec. 1 in order to be considered by the 2006 Legislature, which convenes in January.

Ron Niemi, the DOT official in charge of the survey, told The News Tribune the department would most likely recommend a combination of expanded rest areas and joint public-private partnerships to build more truck parking areas.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the state of Washington has only 100 parking spaces for every 114 spots it needs and has the 10th worst parking shortage in the United States .