Virginia modifies plan to close safety rest areas

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced a modification of its original plan to close 25 of the state’s 41 Interstate Highway rest areas. This decision comes as part of a cost-cutting plan to address a budget shortfall.

VDOT said that in response to concerns about truck parking, and about travel distances between facilities on Interstate 81, it decided to scale back the closures to just 19 of the safety rest areas and add 225 truck parking spaces at the remaining locations. The agency also announced that it will replace its two-hour time limit at safety rest areas with a “no overnight parking” policy. In addition, VDOT will seek congressional authority to commercialize rest areas.

Creating new parking and removing two-hour parking restrictions at the remaining safety rest areas is critical for preventing driver fatigue and helping drivers meet federal hours-of-service regulations, said ATA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Richard Holcomb. Holcomb was Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and the governor’s highway safety representative from 1994 to 2001.

ATA and the Virginia Trucking Association strongly opposed the original proposal to close safety rest areas and voiced their concerns to VDOT.
For more information, visit www.vdot.virginia.gov/news/resources/Statewide/2_JC_3C_CTB_Services_051909.pdf, or e-mail ATA’s Darrin Roth at [email protected].

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