OLYMPIA — Nov. 8 , 2023 — Representatives of the state and national trucking associations are calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to tap into federal and other non-federal sources to address an urgent need for truck parking in Washington.
Nov. 1 letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, the Washington Trucking Associations (WTA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) outlined the impacts of the dire truck parking shortage on both the motoring public and the state as a national export leader.
“If we, as a state, are looking to grow our supply chain and continue our ranking as one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, then we have to have a real conversation – and funding – to address the shortage of truck parking,” said WTA President & CEO Sheri Call. “This issue is as much about safety as it is commerce. We need places for truckers to safely park their vehicles in ways that don’t jeopardize them or the motoring public. And we need to address this issue immediately if we are to keep pace with our own trade growth.”
In their letter, Call and ATA President Chris Spear outline the challenges faced by truckers who cannot find safe places to park:
When drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they are stuck in an untenable situation, forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or violate federal hours-of-service regulations by continuing to search for safer, legal alternatives. As a last resort, drivers reluctantly park in unsafe locations—such as highway shoulders, interstate entrance and exit ramps, and abandoned properties—creating heightened safety risks for themselves and other motorists.
Last legislative session, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported that Washington state has an average of just 69 parking spaces per 100 miles of National Highway System, compared to the national average of 142 spaces. And while Washington is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, it ranks 44th in the nation for the availability of truck parking.
“We anticipate the impact on communities and the quality of life for the industry’s workforce will only get worse unless we collaborate on real solutions and work together to advocate for federal dollars to mitigate the situation,” added Call.
Both Call and Spear are asking Inslee to access federal infrastructure funding allocated with the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, as well as USDOT grants and non-federal funds to increase parking capacity and improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.
“Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and our economy. Without them, the daily conveniences we take for granted—from fresh water to fuel to the literal roofs over our heads—would not exist,” wrote Spear and Call.
“We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your state and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight.”
About the Washington Trucking Associations
Since 1922, the Washington Trucking Associations (WTA) has served as the unified voice for the trucking industry in Washington. Member supported, WTA is dedicated to advocating sound public policies, providing excellence in education, training, and information, as well as promoting a safe, dependable, and efficient trucking industry in Washington For more information, visit www.watrucking.org.