National Evaluation of Truck Parking Demand and Rest Area Locations

The national network of rest areas was developed more than 60 years ago with the planning of the Interstate Highway System, and much has changed since then. From the deregulation of trucking to the globalization of supply chains, demands on rest areas have changed with the times. Transportation funding is shrinking, while dynamic supply chains are shifting how and where goods are moving. Safety along highways related to trucks parking in unauthorized areas is a growing concern for states, as is the cost of operating and maintaining public rest areas. COVID-19 prompted many states to shutter rest areas—some permanently. This had devastating impacts on truck drivers, the economy, and the safety of highway travelers as truck drivers were forced to stop and rest on the shoulders and ramps of highways. NCHRP conducted several truck parking projects over the past decade, including the active project NCHRP 08-141, “A Guidebook for Local Truck Parking Regulations.” States have limited funds and would greatly benefit from an evaluation process for prioritizing funding for rest areas based on need. The objective of this research is to develop a process for evaluating and assessing the needs of public rest areas for supporting supply chains based on current and projected trucking industry use of publicly owned and maintained highway rest areas, as well as unauthorized parking along state and Interstate highways (e.g., on ramps and shoulders). Potential products of the research will include (1) a decision-making tool that can help states prioritize funding for public rest area operation, maintenance, relocation, closing, construction, and expansion; (2) guidance on how to identify locations where new public rest areas or an expansion of existing public rest areas is needed based on existing and planned freight generators, existing and projected truck volumes, origins and destinations, and technologies, such as autonomous and zero-emission trucks; and (3) a nationwide inventory of public highway rest areas that provides details about the year built, available truck parking, restrooms, and other amenities.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-190

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Zelinski, Patrick

  • Start Date: 20240520
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01919143
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-190
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 20 2024 8:20PM