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April 26, 2021 1:30 PM, EDT

Truck Parking Gets New Congressional Push

Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig makes her case for truck parking improvements to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. (House T&I committee)

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Efforts to enhance access to parking for the nation’s truckers are alive in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn), a co-sponsor of a bill that would authorize resources for greater parking availability at the state level, called on the chamber’s transportation leaders to include her objective during consideration of an expansive highway bill.

She argued her proposal would improve the safety of commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Eugene Mulero

Mulero

Last month, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Craig introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. The legislation would dedicate federal transportation funding for state facilities that provide truck parking. Specifically, the bill would authorize $125 million for fiscal 2022, with gradual funding increases through fiscal 2026. It also would require state and federal officials to communicate with Congress on the legislation’s impact on the freight industry.

“We’ve seen the need for more trucks and drivers increase significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when trucking helped to keep our economy going,” Bost said March 29. “However, the number of truck parking spaces hasn’t kept pace. That means that drivers are forced to park in unsafe locations, which puts both them and other motorists at risk.

“Creating sufficient parking options for longhaul truckers will not only help keep truckers safe during their rest breaks but will also mean safer roads for everyone.”

The Transportation & Infrastructure Committee plans to mark up a multiyear highway bill later this month. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), has spoken favorably about the truck parking legislation, as well as proposals meant to modernize the country’s mobility networks. DeFazio spoke about this on April 14: “It has become even more clear that communities across the country, both urban and rural, need transformational infrastructure investments to improve the lives of all Americans.”

Rep. Angie Craig on Truck Parking by Transport Topics

“By modernizing our infrastructure, we can create millions of jobs, become more competitive in the global economy, make transportation more affordable and equitable, create more livable communities, and reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector that is driving the climate crisis,” the chairman added.

The Week Ahead (all times EDT):

April 27, 2:30 p.m.: The Senate Commerce Committee meets to explore options on proceeding with autonomous vehicles legislation. (Details, watch live)

April 28, 2 p.m.: The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee meets to review highway funding proposals. (Details, watch live)

April 28, 9 p.m.: President Joe Biden delivers an address to a joint session of Congress.

Freight Corridor

A very inside-the-Beltway phenomenon: Democrats criticize a proposal for not being a plan.

Legislative Docket

The Green New Deal is back. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the environmental policy manifesto that proposes to transform and re-imagine the country’s transportation and infrastructure operations.

“The Green New Deal provides the framework we need to confront the intersecting crises our country faces: climate change, a public health pandemic, racial injustice and economic inequality. We can transform our economy and our democracy for all Americans by addressing the generational challenge of climate change,” said Markey.

Buzz

The 58-member bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus unveiled an infrastructure policy proposal backed partly by an increase in the fuel tax. The proposal seeks to improve “highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, water and sewer systems, energy systems and the power grid, and broadband and communications networks” to achieve infrastructure resilience and greater access to freight and passenger corridors.

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So, another trillion dollars?

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Go Pats!

Last Word

This Earth Day, Democrats join the American people in vowing to honor our sacred responsibility to serve as good stewards of God’s creation and advance a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come.

— Speaker Nancy Pelosi on April 22

Nancy Pelosi

We publish weekly when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.

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