April 1, 2011
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC's) Regional Truck Parking Study was undertaken due to the important economic, environmental, and safety implications of a sufficient regional truck parking network. Truck drivers must work within the bounds of the federally mandated hours-of-service (HOS) rules and regulations. The combination of limited hours of driving, complex supply chains, and narrow delivery windows leads to a need for safe and secure overnight parking.Truck parking is usually provided by three different types of facilities: privately owned truck stops, service plazas, and welcome centers. This report contains details about each type of facility in the Delaware Valley region, including the amenities offered to drivers, the number of spaces, and proximity to other facilities. At present, the region possesses a total of 1,122 spaces, 879 of which are located at privately owned truck stops.The report estimates parking demand using two different methods. Overnight site visits were done to determine the utilization of authorized facilities and the location and utilization of unauthorized parking locations. The region's authorized facilities were found to be operating over capacity by 134 trucks during the site visits, with the Valley Forge and Woodrow Wilson Service Plazas accounting for 91 of those surplus trucks. Additional unauthorized parking was found on highway shoulders, around toll plazas, and in local industrial areas. Truck parking demand was also determined by adopting the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Truck Parking Demand Model to the region. The model determined that the region had a shortfall of 247 spaces in 2009.Finally, the report offers a set of multi-regional and regional actions intended to improve the regional truck parking network:Action 1: Fully utilize available public funding that directly supports the creation of additional overnight truck parking spacesAction 2: Advance the use of the latest Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies to optimize existing parking locationsAction 3: Reduce emissions that are caused by idling parked trucks Throughout the report, blue call-out boxes will be presented; they contain related information and interesting anecdotes pertinent to the topic under discussion.Action 4: Promote the need for additional truck parking spaces and amenities to both DVRPC partners and the publicAction 5: Improve access to existing truck parking facilitiesAction 6: Maintain existing facilities and create additional regional capacity where possibleAs with all work from DVRPC's Office of Freight Planning, this report was made possible by the continued support of the Delaware Valley Goods Movement Task Force.