Friday, January 8, 2010

"Rest Stops R.I.P."

From the very eclectic website "Good" comes a story about the death of the American rest stop.  My husband found this story after we passed a closed rest stop on I-95 near Richmond, Virginia over the holidays. This is another Virginia budget-saver, along with banning cul de sacs.  Virginia, however, isn't the only state closing its rest stops.  If, like me, you're a sometime solo female traveler who enjoys a safe, warm place for a pit stop, this is not a happy trend.  Also, if you're a fan of the kitschy mid-century modern look of many of the rests stops, or a preservation advocate in general, the loss of these rest stops is worrisome.  Of course, we can always stop at Starbucks or McDonalds to use the loo and top up on caffinated beverages.  But, for me, rest stops are an integral part of the interstate highway system, and I mourn their loss a little.

Jamie Baker Roskie

Follow up - Another article, this time from The New York Times, about a political kerfuffle in Arizona over closed rest stops.

Architecture, Historic Preservation, Transportation | Permalink

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I am with you Jamie. I understand the budget crisis we currently face in Virginia is most definitely real, but the ability to stop without being inundated with traffic and aggressive commercial interface just to hit the head is a real bonus traveling. Having a nice area to stop and picnic with a restroom makes for a more leisurely and civilized form of travel, but alas another casualty of modern efficiency.

I grew up in a cul-de-sac and see the value, but also see the inherent problem with them too. Interesting that the linkage is road upkeep, that seems a little off. I always thought the issue was they force too much concentrated traffic rather than disbursing traffic across multiple parallel paths, but I have not studied it much.

Posted by: Timothy R. Hughes | Jan 13, 2010 6:12:32 PM