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Truck drivers say President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan overlooks parking, a critical need for breaks and sleep

Trucks fuel up at the Love’s Truck Stop in Springville, Utah, on December 1, 2021.

GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

  • For years, truckers have voiced concerns about the lack of parking spaces for long-haul drivers. 
  • Though President Biden released a “Trucking Action Plan,” it does not mention parking once, Bloomberg reported.
  • The parking shortage delays deliveries and is worsening the supply-chain backlog, one trucker told officials. 

Parking has long been a pain point for long-haul truck drivers, as more trucks hit the road each year to keep up with online orders.

And while President Biden’s “Trucking Action Plan” — released last month as part of the administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill — makes an effort to address hot-button transportation issues like supply-chain backlogs and the truck driver shortage, it does not mention parking once, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. 

According to Illinois truck driver Merry Leach, supply-chain woes can’t be solved “until drivers are able to utilize their whole 11 hour drive time driving, not driving around in circles, fighting for the next parking spot,” she told federal highway officials in December. 

Earlier this year, a highway bill provision introduced to the US House of Representatives included nearly $1 billion in truck parking grants, but was later removed, The American Transportation Research Institute noted in its yearly critical issues report.

Parking was listed among the industry’s top five issues this year in the report: “This is the 10th year that the lack of available truck parking has made the top 10 list of industry concerns, and among commercial drivers it has consistently ranked in their top three,” the report states. 

Some drivers spend hours searching for parking, forced at times to park in illegal or dangerous spots, according to Bloomberg. The shortage is worst in the Northeast. 

To account for the additional time it takes to park, truckers drive shorter distances than they could otherwise. Because truckers are paid by mile, not by hour, this means parking costs truckers an average of $4,600 a year, the outlet reported. 

“Since most truck stops fill up between 4 pm and 6 pm, finding parking is a HUGE pain,” a Reddit user wrote in a trucking thread discussing the issue. “Basically there are way more trucks on the road now than there were 20 years ago and truck parking hasn’t changed to accommodate the new rigs.”

One way the industry has sidestepped the burden of parking is through “team driving,” when two people take turns driving one truck. While one is behind the wheel, the other sleeps. 

This exempts team drivers like Carla and Robert Holmes from searching for overnight parking. Even so, the pair told Insider “more parking is always a good thing” for the industry. 

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