Three states study truck rest area needs

| 10/27/2006

If you haul in the northern New Jersey-New York area, you'll be glad to hear that someone is studying the need for new or bigger truck rest areas.

Actually, that "someone" is state agencies in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut - all of which are cooperating on a regional study.

John Hummer of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio that the study will recommend sites for new rest areas and/or the expansion of existing facilities.

Right now, Hummer said, the shoulders of interstates like I-95, I-80 and I-78 turn into makeshift rest stops at night, because there's nowhere else to park a rig.

"If you drive the highways in our region, especially at night, you see trucks pulled over on the shoulders of our roads by the thousands, literally grabbing a little bit of sleep, trying to get off the books so they can get ready for the next day's driving," Hummer said. "It represents, to us and to the industry, a safety hazard and a security issue. We are not providing a safe place for the truckers to go and get some rest."

The joint study on new parking will be presented to the transportation departments and lawmakers in all three states early next year.

- By Reed Black, staff writer