AMES – Finding a spot for your big rig is getting a little easier. The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with seven other states, has launched a new data-driven system to help commercial drivers easily locate available truck parking at both state-run rest areas and select private truck stops around the Midwest.
Iowa’s system called “Trucks Park Here” will make commercial drivers aware of available parking along Interstate 80, and portions of I-380, I-35, I-235, and I-29. The data is currently accessible through public data feeds that can be utilized by application developers, in-cab navigation system makers, and others wishing to utilize the parking information. Access to the data feeds can found in the parking information link on www.trucksparkhere.com. Later this month, available parking locations will be added to the rest area layer on Iowa’s traveler information sites and mobile apps at www.511ia.org.
“Trucks Park Here” will collect truck parking availability data using a variety of in-pavement and parking lot entrance/exit sensors. Phil Mescher of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Systems Planning led this effort for the state and said, “All eight states have worked to make the data showing available truck parking consistent; however, each is taking a little different approach on where the data is displayed. While some states are using more sign-based approaches like placing information on digital message boards on the roadway, in Iowa we decided to take a more technology-based approach. We are making information available to those who can use the data in existing in-cab systems or develop apps for drivers. In addition, we thought it was important to provide the information on our existing 511 traveler information site that many Iowa drivers are already using.”
This initiative is part of a larger Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials’ truck parking information management system effort being funded in part through a $25 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant awarded to eight partnering states – Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. For more information on the project, as well as how to find truck parking information for the other participating states, visit www.trucksparkhere.com