With an engaged audience gathered for the FHWA and Nevada DOT sponsored truck parking workshop for Northern Nevada clearly did not want to gamble with highway safety and the safety of truckers they clearly recognized that is the current situation.
Weather woes greatly complicate planning and parking.
With the legendary Donner Summit to the west leading to hours and days-long road closures through a long winter season, the Reno region bears the brunt of the resulting mass of truckers seeking a safe refuge to wait out the closures. While Nevada DOT does provide information on closures well in advance of the mountain pass this does not provide truckers with places to park. During the workshop, every attendee agreed that parking locations must be identified and information about these locations must make it to the trucker.
One unique aspect of Reno is the availability of land for parking, but finding the right spots is still the challenge. As small groups engaged to find potential solutions some options received attention.
-Government-owned land which the local MPO identified.
-Federal lands surrounding the region.
-Tribal reservations which include land adjacent to the interstate. They may present the unique advantage of freedom from zoning restrictions which can frequently hinder truck parking efforts.
-Reno rodeo grounds include an area were RVs park during the infrequently held events. It is also a non-profit organization. The potential for a charity to see a benefit, while truckers find a safe refuge could be a double benefit.
The right match.
With the number of potential options highlighted above from the engaged audience and additional upcoming projects from Nevada DOT in the works, this workshop presented reasons for optimism in addressing problems that occur on a daily basis and regularly throughout the long winter season.
Scott Grenerth is part of the TSPS team and while he primarily drives a desk today (but does occasionally utilize his CDL) he has over a million accident-free miles behind the wheel of over-the-road trucking experience.