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Commercial Vehicle Parking In California: Exploratory Evaluation of the Problem and Possible Technology-Based Solutions

  • Author(s): Rodier, Caroline J.
  • Shaheen, Susan
  • et al.
Abstract

The U.S. is experiencing dramatic growth in commercial vehicle truck travel on our nation's roadway system as well as critical shortages in truck parking. California ranks first in the nation in overall (private and public) commercial vehicle parking shortage (Fleger et al., 2006). Recent estimates of the demand for truck parking in California indicate that demand exceeds capacity at all public rest areas; this is the case at 88 percent of private truck stops on the 34 corridors in California with the highest volumes of truck travel (Caltrans, 2001). Nationwide, shortages of public truck spaces, however, are considered to be more severe than shortages of private spaces. In 2002, 71 percent of states reported public shortages, but only 16 percent report private shortages (Chen et al., 2002). The truck parking shortage in California and the U.S. has a number of serious consequences that threaten our roadway safety, public health, and economic productivity.

This report begins with a literature review of the commercial vehicle truck parking problems in California and the U.S. including the distribution and frequency of current and expected truck parking shortages and illegal parking, available evidence on truck drivers' parking preferences, and a description and evaluation of current and future approaches to the truck parking problem. The results of this literature review indicated that the provision of parking information-related services may be a promising near-term solution to the truck parking problem. As a result, the authors worked with researchers at the University of California, Davis to include questions related to truck parking information services in a statewide survey of truckers conducted for the California Air Resources Board. The results indicated that almost 70 percent of the truckers surveyed would use up-to-the-minute information about parking areas and spaces when planning their next rest. Among these respondents, most indicated that road signs, mobile phones, and radio were their preferred method of accessing this information, and almost half indicated that they would reserve a parking spot in advance, most preferably, by mobile phone.

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