About two weeks ago, we reported on truck parking in Elmira, N.Y. It was a nice palate cleanser since the truck parking beat is typically full of bad news, much like the situation in North Bend, Wash. Since then, we have received more good news from the other side of the country in Weed, Calif.
Recently, we saw posts on Facebook with the image shown on the right. Another truck-friendly city? I called City Administrator Ronald Stock to get details. To call Weed, Calif., “trucker-friendly” may be an understatement.
Approximately 50 miles south of the Oregon border, Weed is a small community of just under 3,000 people, less than half the population of North Bend, Wash., and nearly the same size in square miles. Yet, Weed’s response to truck parking is antithetical to North Bend’s.
Off of Interstate 5 on Vista Drive sits a Pilot Travel Center. The truck plaza was a good start for parking, but not enough. As City Administrator Ronald Stock pointed out, truckers have three choices for rest when traveling in Northern California/Southern Oregon: Redding, Calif., Medford, Ore., and Weed, Calif. When temperatures in Redding and Medford reach triple digits, Weed stays somewhere in the 80s.
“So if you had to sleep in your cab, where would you stop?” Stock asked.
Although Weed allows truckers to park on the public roadways – another accommodation not afforded to truckers in many cities – parking was still an issue. A more desirable location in warmer weather months and agricultural business during fall, Weed was experiencing a lot of truck traffic.
“We had so much truck parking that it was becoming congested,” Stock said. “The truck operators were complaining, and we decided to meet their needs.”
Rather than restrict truckers from coming in, the city of Weed decided to provide a solution to the parking problem. The city leased some property and built a parking lot three years ago. Two years ago, the city asphalted the lot and put up signs designating the lot for commercial trucks only.
|Taken in 2009, this Google Maps image does not show the|
truck-only parking lot, but look at all those trucks LEGALLY
With 30 truck spots, the lot is located about 300 feet off of Vista Drive across the street from the McDonald’s and can be accessed via Shastina Dr. or Black Butte Dr. Gas stations, a Pilot Travel Center and two restaurants are nearby, providing plenty of options for truckers. As the Google Maps image shows, trucks can also be parked along Shastina Dr. and Black Butte Dr.
But wait. There’s more.
“We’re on the lookout for a second location,” Stock said. “We’re willing to build a second parking lot, and continue to meet the needs of those who do business in our community.”
That’s right. Weed is doubling down on their offer of truck parking. And to sweeten the deal even more, the city is encouraging a second company to build a second truck plaza. Looks like Weed has one-upped Elmira, N.Y.
“The community is very pro-business and the transportation industry is a significant portion of our economy,” Stock said. “(Trucking) provides a great deal of both taxes and employment, and so it is used positively by our community.”