Walmart is facing a $50,000 fine for allowing trucks to park at one of its Illinois stores. The penalty came from the city of Springfield, which claims the store is not following the parking plan approved by the city when it was built.
The previously approved plan does not include truck parking, according to an article by The State Journal-Register. The local newspaper reported that city officials started asking the store to address safety concerns caused by the trucks, like blocked visibility, last April.
The fine was issued last week after Walmart failed to act on its proposed plans, like re-striping its parking lot to allow truck spots or placing barriers to prohibit trucks, according to the State Journal-Register article.
The article states that the city of Springfield is more interested in working with Walmart to find fix any problems than collecting the entire fine.
Walmart National Media Relations Senior Manager Casey Staheli told FreightWaves the store was working with the city to reach a resolution Tuesday.
“We’re still weighing all of our options and continuing to work with the city to reach solutions, until then, we are working within the regulations,” Staheli said.
While it is not uncommon for Walmart stores to allow overnight truck parking, it is banned at many of the stores across the country. Policies can vary because Walmart allows truck parking rules to be set on a store-by-store basis.
“It is store-by-store, as well as community-by-community,” Staheli said. “Sometimes communities have regulations or restrictions, and sometimes the owner of the property we lease might assert certain restrictions.”
He said Walmart supports truck drivers whenever possible, while also operating within community regulations and other restrictions, as necessary.
“We understand the importance of truckers, especially in our line of work, and we try to be as accommodating as possible,” Staheli said.
The problem with Walmart’s varying policies is the lack of predictability for drivers making a parking plan. One company, Trucker Path, has stepped in to help drivers figure out which locations are trucker-friendly and which are not.
The mobile app points drivers to legal parking facilities across the country, including rest areas, truck stops and yes, Walmart stores. It allows drivers to read reviews from those who parked before them, as well as leave reviews for those who will park after them.
Trucker Path Chief Business Officer Chris Oliver said the company called every Walmart in the U.S. and asked if the store was truck-friendly when the feature first launched.
Of about 5,400 stores, about 2,700 reported having truck parking. The company keeps the feature up-to-date by crowdsourcing information from drivers out on the road, according to Oliver.
“We are here for the sake of capturing information from truckers that we use to make their life easier and parking is big, big part of that,” Oliver said.