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MnDOT study finds significant lack of truck parking across Minnesota

Updated: October 15, 2019 11:46 AM

As the number of long-haul trucks on Minnesota roads increases, there are fewer places for those big rigs to pull off and park safely overnight.

In a study released this week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation found of the more than 26,000 truck trips daily in the state, only 4,834 spaces are open at any given time for drivers to use.

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"Rest stops are kind of few and far between," said truck driver Liz Rybarczyk. "If we run out of hours, we have to stop like no matter where we're at."

The study comes in the midst of a shipping boom across the United States, said MnDOT statewide freight planner Andrew Andrusko.

"There's a pretty significant gap between the level of demand we have versus what we have in terms of capacity," he said.

MnDOT's study also looked at where most of the space is located and discovered the majority of available overnight parking is at private, commercial truck stops.

"In reality, we're not going to be able to do it alone," Andrusko said, adding the state is looking at ways to partner with private operators to expand and increase space.

The push to find more overnight parking space is also needed as local municipalities look to control truck parking within city limits.

"Cities like Minneapolis are actually looking to ban truck parking across their entire city so as we think on a state level, that's going to increase those demands and pressure on our existing rest areas in the future," Andrusko said.

MnDOT is planning outreach events and public comment opportunities over the next several months to gather more input on the study. The transportation agency will then start looking at programs and funding to increase space across the state.

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Kirsten Swanson

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