Truck Parking and Traffic on I-5 in California: Analysis of a Clipboard Survey and Annual Average Daily Traffic Data


Truck parking is a major problem on I-5 in California as truck drivers regularly encounter parking that is at or near capacity, particularly when searching for overnight parking. This creates safety hazards for truck drivers as well as the traveling public. This study reports on the results of a clipboard survey of truck drivers (N = 85) on I-5 in California in Spring 2012. The survey focused on understanding the challenges faced by long haul truck drivers parking in the region and to evaluate the degree to which ITS applications in truck parking, such as real-time parking availability information, would be useful. The survey found that more than 70% of respondents (n=61) indicated that they had encountered truck stops where they would have liked to park but could not because it was full. About 30% of truck drivers stated that they would keep driving under such circumstances. More 50% of truck drivers reported that they encountered truck stops too full to park on I-5 at least every other day, and they predominantly encounter full parking when looking to stop overnight. In addition to completing the survey, researchers developed an approach to illustrate truck traffic over a corridor using Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) data. This approach to displaying public information can be used to help understand where truck parking demand is likely highest, as well as to help quantify long-haul truck traffic over specific segments of a highway corridor.

Elliot Martin, PhD and Susan Shaheen, PhD
Publication date: 
November 15, 2012
Publication type: