Just when you think you have heard everything, something comes along and surprises the crap out of you. One of those moments happened to me this past week when a story played on the local Washington and Northern Virginia news. What story, you ask? Here is a reprint from WTOP’s web site.
Va. spent $3M to renovate 6 now-closing rest stops
May 21, 2009 – 4:34pmHank Silverberg, WTOP Radio
MANASSAS, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation’s decision to close 19 interstate rest stops to save money has left some people scratching their heads.Of the 19 rest stops, six of them – including two on I-66 in Manassas – were renovated within the past five years.
Virginia spent $3 million on the rest stop renovations. But now VDOT says money is so scarce, there’s no alternative but to shut them down.
VDOT cites the availability of off-road services as one of reasons to close the rest stops.
“You can go to McDonald’s, yeah, big deal. But this is so convenient and it’s always clean,” one driver at the eastbound I-66 rest stop in Manassas says.
Six of the 19 rest stops that will close are in Northern Virginia. The stops will close in July – at the height of the summer driving season.
VDOT has decided not to close two “truck only” rest stops on I-95 in Dale City, which were previously on the original closing list.
There is still some discussion of franchising out all of the state’s interstate rest stops, but that would require a change in federal law. VDOT says if that doesnt happen by 2011, the closed rest stops could be torn down.
(Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
I’m having one of those Homer Simpson “Doh” moments. What the heck are these people thinking? That everyone will get off of the Interstate and go to the nearest McDonalds? Now that the police won’t have to patrol the rest stops, they’ll be out there arresting people for peeing in the bushes alongside the highway. Mark my words.