Should rest stops be allowed to be Commercialized?
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Thread: Should rest stops be allowed to be Commercialized?

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Should rest stops be allowed to be Commercialized?

    Do you think allowing restaurants and gas stations at rest stops would be good or bad?

    The local diners, fast food shops and gas stations that cluster just off the exits of America's highways are in a fight with the Senate over a proposal to commercialize rest stops -- a move they claim would divert traffic and suck their business dry.

    The proposal by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would for the first time since the inception of the interstate highway system allow any state to open up side-of-the-highway rest stops to restaurants and gas stations.
    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz1oYECT5Fb
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Hmmm, i had no idea it wasn't common to have commercialized rest stops. There is one here in Maine of the interstate near the south and they are all over Massachusetts I-90 and the NYS Thruway.

    If these are exceptions and congress had initially banned the practice, how did these exceptions come to be? They seem like pretty huge exceptions to me. Pretty much every interstate i use on a regular basis between here and NJ has commercialized rest stops.

    I guess i'd have to say it doesn't bother me and the article makes good points about the benefits of doing so. Yes it could hurt local business and that is unfortunate.

    IMO any town or neighborhood that relies mostly on their off-the-highway quick stops in order to keep their economy thriving was in a risky state to begin with.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    I'm not really fond of the idea. Lots of our rest stops are places of historical significance or just have an amazing view. I think it would be trashy to have a Tim Hortons or Wendys right in front of Stanley Glacier or the view overlooking Banff townsite, etc. There are plenty of service stations along the way, and even though it's a ton of wilderness up here, I've never worried about not making it from one service station to the next to use the loo or fuel up or whatever.

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    Posting Addict Starryblue702's Avatar
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    I don't see the need for this at all. Rest stops are strategically placed inbetween main highway exits with places to eat, gas stations, and such, to give the driver a break... a chance to strecth their legs and go to the restroom if they need. I don't see the need to put restaurants and such in these places at all, especially if it's going to hurt local businesses. Our family makes a couple of different trips in the year to California and Idaho, both of which have both rest stops and small towns on the way. Cali, for example... I know that towns like Baker and Barstow THRIVE on traffic stopping to eat and gas up on their way to and from Nevada and California. If someone were to put a rest stop with a food place inbetween there it could be disaterous for them. The same thing with our Idaho trip... we drive through the state of Nevada, and smack in the middle of the drive is the little town of Ely, full of gas stations and fast food joints. Again, they stay in business because they're the only civilization for 300 miles. I'm fine with it staying the way it is.
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    I think they should allow businesses at rest stops. Most of the rest stops I know of are nasty places as a rule. If a commercial business were allowed to lease them I don't see how that would not improve because they would want to attract business by making it cleaner and nicer. I don't think it would cause other places to go out of business because people are all about choices, and it doesn't matter what goes in there people will want other options and will still pull off into town to have more choices. Besides that I guarantee you the prices would not be competitive to the food/gas that you could get in town because it would be more expensive to keep it stocked/staffed when it is in an area that is out of town and sometimes in the middle of nowhere.
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    Posting Addict boilermaker's Avatar
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    I'm used to seeing these commercialized....I travel a lot. Not so common out here in the west, very common in the east.

    The state I originate from leased all of their toll roads and rest stops to a private entity--and it was a great deal for the State of Indiana. $3.8B cash to the state.....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Toll_Road
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starryblue702 View Post
    I don't see the need for this at all. Rest stops are strategically placed inbetween main highway exits with places to eat, gas stations, and such, to give the driver a break... a chance to strecth their legs and go to the restroom if they need. I don't see the need to put restaurants and such in these places at all, especially if it's going to hurt local businesses. Our family makes a couple of different trips in the year to California and Idaho, both of which have both rest stops and small towns on the way. Cali, for example... I know that towns like Baker and Barstow THRIVE on traffic stopping to eat and gas up on their way to and from Nevada and California. If someone were to put a rest stop with a food place inbetween there it could be disaterous for them. The same thing with our Idaho trip... we drive through the state of Nevada, and smack in the middle of the drive is the little town of Ely, full of gas stations and fast food joints. Again, they stay in business because they're the only civilization for 300 miles. I'm fine with it staying the way it is.
    I looked up all three of those cities you mentioned and only one of them did it say the economy was greatly supported by the fact that they are a rest stop.

    Barstow seems to be a military economy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barstow...fornia#Economy

    and Ely is a mining town http://www.sunsetcities.com/nevada/ely/ely-nevada.html

    Baker already sounds to be a pretty unstable economy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker,_California#Economy

    I just don't really believe that supporting a town on quick rest stop traffic alone is very feasible to begin with and it doesn't sound like they did originally. It sounds like they originally relied on overnighters.

    Ultimately, if a state needs to find money, there is almost no source for money that is not at the expense of someone else in some way or another...there is no free money. But 50 million on rest stop maintenance? And the potential to even profit to fix bridges and roads? Bridges and roads are such HUGE expenses, pretty much every state doesn't have enough money to support what needs to be done on bridges and roads. I like safe bridges personally so i'd rather see money spent on that instead of maintaining little rest stops with little to offer.

    I do think it will hurt small business...i don't think it will destroy entire towns, unless they were already well down the path of destruction to begin with. While i do love local mom and pop and small business stuff, in this case I think the benefits are worth it.
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    Posting Addict boilermaker's Avatar
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    I guess for me, the other part of this equation is that people want smaller govt and govt involvement in fewer things. Rest stops hardly seem like a "core mission" of the government-- maintaining roads and highways and bridges? Yes! Absolutely the job/responsibility of government. Maintaining rest stops? I don't think so. I say privatize them.
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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire'sMommy View Post
    I'm not really fond of the idea. Lots of our rest stops are places of historical significance or just have an amazing view. I think it would be trashy to have a Tim Hortons or Wendys right in front of Stanley Glacier or the view overlooking Banff townsite, etc. There are plenty of service stations along the way, and even though it's a ton of wilderness up here, I've never worried about not making it from one service station to the next to use the loo or fuel up or whatever.
    Yes! I agree with this. We love our rest stops with the kids because they have great views, places to walk around and look at nature...etc. We often stop in a town, grab lunch at a grocery or fast food store, and then drive to the next rest stop. I would be sad to see them go away.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftmom View Post
    Yes! I agree with this. We love our rest stops with the kids because they have great views, places to walk around and look at nature...etc. We often stop in a town, grab lunch at a grocery or fast food store, and then drive to the next rest stop. I would be sad to see them go away.
    You're in BC, right? If you've been through Radium you must know the rest stop as you come through the canyon into going west and the whole Columbia valley is laid out in front of your eyes? I couldn't imagine a McD's or an Esso right beside the hotsprings. Kinda ruins the scenery, IMO. In the town - sure - there are tons, no problem with that.

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