Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Sarah Hernandez

Committee Member

Suman Mitra

Second Committee Member

Sarah Nurre Pinkley


Amenity Availability, Freight Transportation, Land Values, Transportation Planning, Truck Parking


Truck parking is a critical concern for both the trucking industry and the truck drivers. Long-haul commercial truck drivers rely on safe and adequate parking to support interstate commerce, which has become a challenge due to parking shortages. The recent electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, forcing a strict compliance to hours of service (HOS) regulations, are leading to higher demand for parking. A number of federal, regional, and local studies reveal that truck activity will increase and truck parking demand will outpace parking supply in the coming years. Such parking shortages likely disrupt freight flows and pose risks to truck drivers as well as to other highway users.

This study addresses truck parking shortages for long-haul commercial truck drivers in three interconnected ways. The first study used historical, anonymous truck Global Positioning System (GPS) data to determine the extent to which hourly parking usage patterns, i.e., average parking duration, percentage of parked trucks, and parking usage ratio, vary by amenity availability. A K-means clustering model grouped parking facilities by time of day parking usage patterns, season, and geographic region. Each cluster, represented by parking usage patterns, was then tied to unique amenity bundles. Three usage pattern clusters were identified: overnight usage with long parking durations (Cluster 1), off-peak usage with long parking durations, (Cluster 2), and off-peak usage with short parking durations (Cluster 3). In general, overnight and longer duration parking was associated with facilities that had fewer amenities, notably without showers, while peak and off-peak hours and shorter duration parking were associated with full-service facilities.

In the second study, a systematic, data-driven review of the economic impacts of truck parking facilities was accomplished. This study applied a spatial-autoregressive model with autoregressive disturbances (SARAR) to estimate the impact on commercial and industrial land values attributed to proximity to truck parking facilities. Significant benefits to local land values were found: each 1% increase in distance from a parking facility was associated with a 0.25% decrease in land values, which corresponds to a $224/acre reduction in value for an average parcel.

In the third and final study, a parking decision-support tool ParkSIM was developed by a group of researchers from the University of Arkansas. The author provided inputs to the location optimization model, specifically in defining criteria and selecting sites for parking capacity expansions and estimating budgets for bundled improvements as well as analyzed different overcrowding estimates from the multiple simulations run under different HOS. The analysis found 42 new locations and 50 existing facilities for expansions, each of which can be considered for building new parking facilities under three service levels. The cost of a full service facility (e.g., facility with restroom, showers, and food) was estimated to $14 million and the cost of basic facility with no service was $2.8 million. The analysis of the model output revealed that average overcrowding (more than 100% use of capacity) occurs at 26 of the 168 facilities in Arkansas with many significant overcrowding issues along the interstates.