OOIDA board members weigh in on parking dilemma at freight planning meeting

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 8/2/2013

Two members of OOIDA’s Board of Directors had the opportunity to discuss truck parking issues with state and federal freight transportation officials from around the country on Wednesday, July 31, in Washington, D.C.

Lewie Pugh, OOIDA board member from Freeport, Ohio, and Bryan Spoon, OOIDA alternate board member from Grandy, N.C., met with officials from the Federal Highway Administration and state Department of Transportation agencies, as well as attendees from the private sector and metropolitan planning organizations.

Spoon told Land Line on Friday, Aug. 2, that the meeting was “very positive.” He said that officials charged with planning and developing rest areas had a lot of questions about truck parking during one of the breakout sessions.

“They had a lot of questions for us about what we perceived as truck parking and what they perceived to be truck parking,” Spoon said. “We told them we don’t need rest areas that cost millions of dollars with marble bathrooms, we need a gravel lot, a fence around it and a Porta-Potty to stop and get our rest.”

Spoon said some state planning officials were surprised to hear from drivers that they don’t need rest areas that look like the Taj Mahal, but just need the critical truck parking spaces they provide.

“It’s like Jim (Johnston) says, ‘We don’t need multimillion dollar facilities; just give us a place to park and rest,” Spoon said.

“I run a lot of Eastern shore and a lot of the rest areas along there close at 5 p.m. They close everything – the stores, they shut the gates on the parking,” Spoon said. “If you are there, they wake you up and tell you you’ve got to leave.”

Spoon said he and Pugh also posed the question to state and local planning officials about the lack-of-parking dilemma they face at shippers and receivers, who often want the products the drivers have on their trucks, but don’t allow them to park.

“We told them, you are building all of these huge logistics centers, monster warehouse centers, and you get a lot of concessions from developers anyway when you are doing stuff. Make one of the concessions that they have to provide adequate truck parking or overnight parking for at least the people picking up and delivering to their area,” Spoon said.

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