PMTA Association Updates
Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee Releases Truck Parking Study
For much of 2023, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) President and CEO Rebecca Oyler chaired a task force created to draft a study on truck parking in Pennsylvania.
The task force was created by the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), which undertakes in-depth studies and serves as a liaison between PennDOT and the general public.
The truck parking study is complete and was voted on and approved by the State Transportation Commission (STC).
The STC was established in 1970 to serve as PennDOT’s board of directors. Their mission is to assess resources required to maintain and improve transportation facilities in Pennsylvania.
The TAC study called “Expanding Truck Parking in Pennsylvania” found where truck parking is most needed and created steps to address the shortage.
The areas where truck parking is most needed are called Tier I Corridors:
* I-76 from US-1 to I-95 in Philadelphia
* I-78 from Exit 49 (PA-100) to PA-NJ state line
* I-79 from Ohio River to Exit 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike)
* I-81 from Carlisle to Susquehanna River
* I-81 from I-83 to I-78
* I-83 from US-322 to I-81
* I-95 in the Philadelphia area from the Delaware state line to I-276.
* Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) from Exit 57 (US 22) to Exit 75 (I-70)
* Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) from Exit 298 (I-176) to Norristown (I-476)
* Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276) from Valley Forge (I-76) to I-95
The study then lists proposed locations for additional truck parking around all Tier I Corridors.
The study also includes 19 recommendations for PennDOT to implement based on five common issues the task force found in addressing the truck parking shortage.
- Cost of Real Estate
- Availability of Appropriate Sites
- Community/Quality of Life Concerns
- State and Federal Policy
The 19 suggestions are as follows:
1. Reevaluate P3 Opportunities.
2. Develop statewide incentives for providing truck parking.
3. Promote and pursue federal discretionary grants for truck parking.
4. Repurpose select state-owned surplus properties.
5. Identify potential sites at a regional level using the TAC methodology.
6. Identify opportunities for shared parking and staging areas for multiple industrial sites.
7. Integrate truck parking with economic development projects.
8. Implement community compatibility best practices.
9. Designate emergency truck parking in appropriate areas.
10. Educate residents about the importance of truck parking.
11. Update land use regulations (zoning and subdivision/land development) to include truck parking.
12. Address truck parking in county and local comprehensive plans.
13. Foster municipal involvement.
14. Promote truck parking in national and regional forums.
15. Undertake collaborative problem-solving with adjoining states.
16. Develop a Pennsylvania Truck Parking Handbook.
17. Integrate truck parking into regional planning.
18. Designate a PennDOT Executive Sponsor for Truck Parking.
19. Establish an Implementation Task Force.
PennDOT started to create a Task Force for the creation and implementation of a plan to address the truck parking issue in Pennsylvania.
This Implementation Task Force has already started to meet.
Media coverage of the truck parking issue has already garnered the attention of developers.
PMTA staff and Board Members look forward to working with PennDOT, the STC and TAC to finally address the truck parking crisis.
There are several funding opportunities through the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA). ATA and PMTA sent a letter detailing these funding opportunities to Governor Josh Shapiro. PMTA hopes this study will give PennDOT the resources to justify applying for federal discretionary funds to be used for truck parking projects.
Impact of PMTA’s 2023 Call on Washington
In September 2023, PMTA staff and members participated in a Call on Washington organized by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Legislative Affairs team.
The group had a day full of meetings with congressmen and women and their teams.
During a Call on Washington, ATA staff prep attendees with information on each politician they’re scheduled to visit including their relevant voting record, and information about the bills ATA is lobbying for and against.
The top issues included highway accident litigation reform, truck parking, workforce development and energy.
Storytelling is an important part of the political process. A personal narrative can be impactful in eliciting an emotional response from constituents. The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association believes our members have important stories to tell that can influence legislation being introduced or passed at the state and federal level.
One of the bills advocated for during the Call on Washington was passed in the U.S. Senate. Senate Bill 656 or the Veterans Improvement Commercial Driver License Act would allow veterans to use GI benefits for truck driver training schools. The GI Bill was passed to help veterans pay for college, graduate school or training programs. The way it stands now, benefits can be used to obtain a CDL in certain circumstances, and don’t always cover the full cost of a training program.
The bill is backed with bipartisan support. It is in the U.S. House of Representatives. We hope to see it introduced in the House soon.
PMTA members have access to legislative updates and a directory of contact information for state legislators, but we encourage all trucking industry members to reach out to their representatives.
For more information on bills to watch visit, https://pmta.org/news .