Officials in Huntsville, Alabama have agreed to look into possible solutions for truck parking issues plaguing the area.
Of the nearly 203,000 residents in the city, just over 30 are known to be truck drivers. While that number does not initially come across as unmanageable, local truckers say the continuously growing city has pushed out their resident drivers through increased development and newly implemented truck parking bans.
Huntsville-based truck driver Robert Vogel says that, in the not so distant past, he and his fellow truckers had plenty of space to leave their rigs during their home time, but an uptick in chain businesses moving into the area has changed that.
The newly established businesses now occupy lots where drivers were once able to park freely, and have implemented truck parking bans due to space and upkeep concerns. This paired with the overall growth of the city has left local drivers with nowhere to go.
“As (Huntsville) expands and get bigger and bigger, you get more people living there, trucks coming in, and more truck drivers moving into the area,” said Vogel, calling himself and other drivers ‘essential workers largely forgotten after nearly a year of lockdowns.’
“There’s no place to go,” he lamented to News 19.
Vogel suggests the city allow drivers to use gravel lots, such as the one at the old Joe T. Davis Municipal Stadium, but city officials believe the solution will take more consideration and planning than simply opening up an old parking lot.
“I think for (the stadium lots) to be a long-term solution is just not going to be there, because of the redevelopment of John Hunt Park in that area…But that’s the kind of area that we’d love to find that would work for these guys,” Brown says.
“I wish I could offer a solution sitting here right here right now, but we’re going to see what we can find. Maybe we can help, maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Brown says that he plans on working with the mayor’s office to come up with a solution, including contacting prevalent truck stop companies to suggest opening up more locations in the area.