PennDOT offered high school students to solve truck parking problem
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is asking high school students to come up with ideas to improve truck stops.
The students were asked to select one of the Pennsylvania highways where truck parking is a problem, develop an innovative approach to increase the availability of commercial truck parking in the area, and calculate construction costs.
This initiative is part of PennDOT’s sixth annual Innovation Challenge, which encourages students to use their ability, creativity and strategic thinking to solve real-world transportation challenges.
The innovation must take into account local ordinances and laws for the chosen area, the interaction of commercial organizations in the development of land, the impact on society, and also take into account the space requirements for commercial trucks, which are usually 70-80 feet long.
«Parking trucks on highway roadsides and ramps is common at night and is a major safety issue,» the press release said. «As just-in-time delivery continues to be the backbone of the global business, the demand for truck parking will continue to grow. Federal office hours require driver downtime, leading to increased demand for truck parking, and many local governments have strict ordinances prohibiting overnight truck parking in their communities.»
«Pennsylvania is an important freight corridor and it is important that commercial drivers have adequate, secure parking along our road network,» said PennDOT Secretary Yasmine Gramian. «I’ll be happy to consider ideas that students will come up with this year.»
Winners of the Regional Innovations Challenge will be selected and invited to present their solutions to the Secretary of PennDOT and a panel of judges who will determine the statewide winner.
«Apart from the challenge itself, we hope this experience will open career opportunities for students in the transportation industry after graduation, perhaps even at PennDOT,» Gramian added.