Pennsylvania looks to tackle truck parking
A lack of truck parking around several Pennsylvania area rest stops gains the attention of State Officials. Now, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is discussing the need to create more parking areas for trucks.
With the Pennsylvania Turnpike being a popular route for many commercial drivers, the need to address the parking deficit is crucial for the safety of all drivers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation runs a public-private program that they refer to as P3. Through this program, the state of Pennsylvania works to increase the value and safety of the state’s population.
PennDot has decided to use the P3 program to address the state route’s parking issues and create a pilot program. With a deficit of 890 parking spots, the parking problem is even beginning to gain traction within the state’s turnpike commission, and state officials.
For National Truck Drivers Appreciation Week, we want to showcase what the #PATurnpike can offer you, truckers. This week is all about thanking you, drivers, for your hard work. #NTDAW #DriverApprecation #trucking @TRUCKINGdotORG pic.twitter.com/BaRfBpoArg
— PennsylvaniaTurnpike (@PA_Turnpike) September 12, 2018
According to Lehigh Valley Transportation, in a statement from Amber Reimnitz, the commission’s senior traffic operations project manager, noted that a 2013 study done by the Turnpike Commission on parking needs was an eye-opener for the common understanding that there is a great need to address the parking deficit.
Areas of concern
To begin, the Turnpike Commission has pinpointed the six worst service stations for truck parking along the main Turnpike on the eastern side of the state.
The turnpikes with the least amount of parking spaces included are:
- Highspire plaza in Middletown, Dauphin County (9 truck parking spaces)
- Lawn plaza in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County (14 spaces)
- Bowmansville plaza in Denver, Lancaster County (13 spaces)
- Peter J. Camiel plaza in Elverson, Chester County (24 spaces)
- Valley Forge in Wayne, Delaware County (7 spaces)
- King of Prussia in King of Prussia, Montgomery County (26 spaces)
With so few spaces available at these rest stops, welcome centers, turnpike services, and service plazas, space for parking runs out pretty quickly. When left with no other place to park, drivers resort to parking alongside the highways. This creates a dangerous situation not only for drivers, but for other cars on the roadways as well.
The total available spaces between the plazas within the pilot program comes out to 93 available spots. This seems like it might be enough space, but when observers for the program visited these plazas between the prime resting hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., they counted a total of 195 trucks parked throughout the six plazas.
With Valle Forge being one of the smaller rest areas in Pennsylvania – with only seven available parking spaces, it was found to be one of the most dangerous plazas in terms of a need for parking. This seven-spot plaza had 36 trucks parked around it.
The turnpike commission is moving forward with the pilot program in order to amend this need for parking spaces. The pilot program aims to better manage existing truck parking spaces and will provide information to drivers on what spaces are available and where they’re located.
Reimnitz commented that the pilot program will be able to give real-time information to truckers as they are traveling. They will be able to see in real time what spots are available at the two closest service plazas to them.
Have you ever had troubles finding a parking spot in the Pennsylvania Turnpike? Let us know about your experience!