Feds accepting comments on parking pilot program

| Monday, June 26, 2006

The Federal Highway Administration is seeking advice on a pilot program that could improve the availability of truck parking nationwide.

On Monday, June 26, FHWA published a “notice and request for comments” in the Federal Register to determine how a pilot program, which was approved as part of the highway funding legislation signed into law this past August, will be carried out.

The program will provide about $6.2 million in grants per year through 2009 for states and municipalities to improve commercial parking. Exactly how those grants are enacted, though, will depend on responses from truckers and industry officials during this comment period.

According to Section 1305 of the Highway Bill, the grants must serve the National Highway System and fall under one of the following categories:

  • Constructing safety rest areas that include parking for commercial motor vehicles;
  • Constructing commercial motor vehicle parking facilities adjacent to commercial truck stops and travel plazas;
  • Opening existing facilities to commercial motor vehicle parking, including inspection and weigh stations, and park-and-ride facilities;
  • Promoting the availability of publicly or privately provided commercial motor vehicle parking on the National Highway System using intelligent transportation systems and other means;
  • Constructing turnouts along the National Highway System for commercial motor vehicles;
  • Making capital improvements to public commercial motor vehicle parking facilities currently closed on a seasonal basis to allow the facilities to remain open year-round; and
  • Improving the geometric design of interchanges on the National Highway System to improve access to commercial motor vehicle parking facilities.

Tom Weakley, director of operations for the OOIDA Foundation, said the Association will be filing comments supporting the pilot program.

“We will definitely make comments, and we will thank (FHWA) for at least recognizing that there is a parking problem,” Weakley said.

The comment deadline is Aug. 25. Comments do not have to be signed and can be submitted anonymously.

All submissions must include the agency name and docket number, FHWA-2006-25066. To submit your completed comments, you can:

    Docket Management Facility,
    U.S. Department of Transportation,
    400 Seventh St. SW, Nassif Building Room PL-401,
    Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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