Overnight Truck Parking Has Summit County Officials Concerned
UDOT is improving the chain up area adjacent to the Bells Truck Stop on I-80 near Silver Creek Junction. County officials and Silver Creek area residents are concerned about the project having negative impacts on the neighborhood which is close to the parking area. Carolyn Murray has this:
Bells Silver Creek Truck Stop at 7100 Silver Creek road has food, fuel, showers, laundry services and convenience store items and is adjacent to the truck parking area. UDOT says they want to make it safe for truckers to park, chain up or wait out a storm.
John Gleason is UDOT’S spokesperson. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher asked Gleason if the changes will allow for overnight trucker parking.
“No, not very much Leslie. We are expecting to take an existing chain-up area that’s been used for the last several years, as you’ve said, right next to Bell’s Truck Stop. We are paving it and adding signage. We want to provide a nice, safe, convenient area for trucks to chain up during those winter storms.”
Improvements include signage, a gate and pavement with striping for about 40 spaces. Gleason says UDOT hasn’t decided if the gate will be open all year round but even if it’s closed, the parking area could still be accessed at the exit.
“Well, we are still working through all that. We do have the option with the gate there of blocking access at certain times. I think we are working with the county to see what makes the most sense.”
Summit County Council Member, Kim Carson says she is concerned that UDOT won’t keep the area limited to chain up only. She’s worried about air quality, the woodside neighborhood and the transit stop nearby.
“We let them know what our concerns were and we talked with them about mitigation. And, we were saying if it’s absolutely not an option to just limit it to chain up’s then we asked for mitigation which include safety lighting, some type of monitoring, putting up no idling signs, some sort of access to Bells so they would have accessible restrooms and some type of vegetation that would green the parking area.”
UDOT finds the location ideal because there is so much truck traffic at the intersection of US 40 and I-80. He says the Summit County Anti-Idling ordinance would have to be enforced locally by the County Sheriff or the Highway Patrol.
Carson says the area has become an ad hoc rest area for truckers.
“I think that’s one thing that has been a little frustrating for us. UDOT doesn’t have to get county approval for the plans. We do try to work cooperatively on things and we have been successful working on a lot of projects, however, this is one where we weren’t engaged in the planning stage where I wished we would have been.”
Carson says she and county officials hope to meet with UDOT in the next couple of weeks to iron out some of the County’s concerns with the Truck Parking Area at the Silver Creek interchange.
KPCW tried to contact the Bells Truck Stop Manager for comment and did not receive a call back for this report.