Lehigh Valley Planners Target Tractor-Trailer Parking as E-Commerce Rises

While the growing presence of tractor-trailers has been a problem of Lehigh Valley, Pa., locals recently, regional organizers are concerned with the one place they’re not seeing them– designated truck parking spots.In the past decade, the Lehigh Valley has seen massive storage facilities emerge to accommodate the growing need for online retail and over night shipment. Logistics hubs for Walmart and Amazon.com have moved into warehouses of more than a million square feet in the Lehigh Valley, and FedEx Ground is finishing up a similar-size facility in Allen Area that will be the company’s biggest storage facility. The transportation and warehousing industries represent about 8.4%of work in the Lehigh Valley, inning accordance with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.But the rise in those industries includes unintended repercussions.

Aside from extra congestion and the wear and tear of highways, truckers are progressively finding nowhere to park their trucks for their mandatory breaks. In other cases, truckers discover themselves with time to kill up until they can unload their cargo, Lehigh Valley Preparation Commission Executive Director Becky Bradley said.”Trucks show up early, but the business will not let them onto the lot,”Bradley said.Parking shortages aren’t special to the Lehigh Valley. On June 21, LVPC hosted the Eastern Pennsylvania Freight Summit, an all-day event featuring speakers from the federal government, PennDOT, the Port of Philadelphia and Norfolk Southern. While the group talked about local and nationwide trends in freight, the crowd of more than 200 people became most engaged in a panel on truck parking scarcities.”In cities both big and small, truck deliveries is something we need to begin thinking about, “stated Barry Seymour, who as executive director of the Delaware Valley Regional Preparation Commission oversees transportation preparation in the greater Philadelphia area.Federal information from 2014 shows Pennsylvania ranks eighth in the nation for truck parking with 10,932 spots, however the national rise in e-commerce and growth in new markets such as the Lehigh Valley indicate those spots

may not be enough or in the right locations.The issue has actually been compounded by the industry’s recent switch to electronic logging gadgets, which keep up-to-the-second records of when tractor-trailers are on the road. The federal government has stringent guidelines on the length of time truckers can be behind the wheel, and the electronic records now eliminate motorists’abilities to fudge the numbers. As a result, truckers who find themselves stuck in unanticipated delays may be unable to reach parking spots they may have targeted hours or days earlier, said Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association President Kevin Stewart, among the panel speakers.” It forces them to park in nondesignated areas. It requires them to park where they truly do not wish to park,”he0 said.While citizens hardly ever like hosting truck stops or parking facilities, there is a security aspect to think about, Stewart stated. A research study has actually found that fatigue-related truck crashes dropped within 30 miles of

a truck stop as chauffeurs felt they might safely pull over.While the economic sector has begun to deal with the change, some in the crowd argued there’s little economic reward for companies to resolve the problem. Parking for 100 trucks would fill 60 acres, and the high land rates up and down the East Coast make that a challenging expense to bare, stated one attendee who did not determine himself. The ones that do begin are

n’t interested in supplying over night parking, either.”Those truck stop operators don’t want them to stay there. They want them to spend their loan and move on,” the guy said.Another argued that towns have a duty to need brand-new storage facilities to provide parking and basic features such as showers and coffee for truckers. Fundamental formulas such as needing a public truck parking area for every 10 parking areas they develop can help address the problem, he stated.”There’s no reason why that cannot be done here, “he stated, noting it has long been in location in Schuylkill County.Bradley stated Lower

Macungie Area and Allen Town have actually embraced comparable policies, but that supplies little answer for the 60 million square feet of warehouses in the Lehigh Valley that truckers already are serving.

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