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Thread: Definition of a "truck stop"

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Definition of a "truck stop"

    I already have the "place where trucks stop, but I'm glad you thought of it too.

    Seriously, what constitutes a truck stop in the eyes of zoning codes? We have service stations and truck terminals, but nothing listed for truck stop. I'm interested in what your experience describes it as, where it can be located, etc.

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Having done the long-haul trucking thing before coming to my senses, I would suggest that a zoning definition for "truck stop" should include a variety of land uses including short-term (or transient) parking, restaurant, retail sales and services, mechanical repair, truck wash, and perhaps related land uses (a motel?).

    Performance standards are what will make this land use palatable, and keep the *lot lizards* away.
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    From a land use code I wrote:

    Travel plaza or truck stop – use primarily engaged in the maintenance, servicing, storage, parking or repair of commercial vehicles, including the sale of motor fuels or other petroleum products, and the sale of accessories or equipment for over-the-road trucks and similar commercial vehicles. A travel plaza or truck stop may also include overnight accommodations, showers, vehicle scales, restaurant facilities, game rooms, and/or other services and diversions intended mainly for use by truck drivers and interregional travelers.

    No special standards, because the use was banned.

    Anyhow, some things to look at:

    * Access management: the "easy in easy out" access of many stops often conflicts with sound access management practices.
    * Drainage: addressing large impervious surface areas that drain water, oil, diesel fuel, brake and transmission fluid, antifreeze, trucker tea ...
    * Signage: bigger, taller and more obnoxious (electronic message centers) is usually what they want. The Flying J in Aurora, Colorado is the only truck stop I've ever seen with low-profile, tasteful signage.
    * Pole lighting: they like them tall, bright, and without shielding.
    * Under-canopy lighting
    * Architectural design
    * Overnight parking area: buffering from adjacent uses, electrification (to reduce particulates and cut down on idling), defensible design (patrol for lot lizards), landscaping (usually not included; should be mandatory to reduce a heat island effect, and for good site planning practice)
    * Site planning: adequate separation of areas intended primarily for trucks from areas for cars/buses/RVs.
    * Traveler services: bus and RV parking, motorcycle parking, waste dumping, dog walks, and so on.
    * Outbuildings and outstructures: scales, vehicle washes, CB repair stores, trash enclosure areas, etc.
    * Adequate supply of black t-shirts with airbrushed images of wolves, eagles, Indians, Indians and wolves, Indians and eagles, eagles and wolves, Harleys, Harleys and wolves, Harleys and eagles ...

    For the UK readers of this thread, "traveler" doesn't mean "Traveler", but rather ordinary people making long drives; snowbirds, students driving to college, trustifarians following Phish to their next gig, and so on.

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    From APA's Planner's Dictionary:

    truck stop
    • A facility intended to provide services to the trucking industry, including but not limited to the following activities: dispensing of fuel, repair shops, automated washes, restaurants, and motels; all as part of the facility. (Temecula, Calif.)
    • A site in excess of two acres providing specialized facilities for retail fueling services for large trucks; the site may include related facilities including but not limited to restaurants and overnight parking. (Bernalillo County, N.Mex.)
    • Any retail establishment that is greater than 3,500 square feet in gross floor area which offers for sale prepackaged food products, household items, newspapers and magazines, and sandwiches and other freshly prepared foods for off-site consumption. A gasoline or service station may be an accessory use to a truck stop. (Hot Springs, Ark.)
    • An establishment engaged primarily in the fueling, servicing, repair, or parking of tractor trucks or similar heavy commercial vehicles, including the sale of accessories and equipment for such vehicles. A truck stop may also include overnight accommodations, showers, or restaurant facilities primarily for the use of truck crews. (Loveland, Colo.)
    • Any area of land, with adequate parking, maneuvering, and access for at least three combination tractor trailer vehicles, that may provide for retail sale of diesel fuel and gasoline, restaurant facilities, sleeping quarters, and minor repair facilities.
      (Campbell County, Va.)
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    From APA's Planner's Dictionary:

    [snip]

    Any retail establishment that is greater than 3,500 square feet in gross floor area which offers for sale prepackaged food products, household items, newspapers and magazines, and sandwiches and other freshly prepared foods for off-site consumption. A gasoline or service station may be an accessory use to a truck stop. (Hot Springs, Ark.)
    That sounds more like a convenience store.

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    That sounds more like a convenience store.
    I agree....just passing along the def's from the collection. I'd probably pass on that one.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    now if this was in the FAC, we could have fun with this one -

    oily coffee, waitress with too much make up and way too much cleavage, greasy cigar smoking cook in the back room with stomach hanging out of a white t-shirt, lots of pies (and say pie hyper-phonetically)...

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