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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 07/28/2009

Closing the Rest Stops

By Stephen Stromberg

Robert R. Long Jr.

There has been undue criticism of Virginia's Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer and Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner David Ekern for their decision to close 19 rest areas to save the state money.

Instead of criticizing Mr. Homer and Mr. Ekern, we should be praising them for making difficult decisions and searching for innovative solutions.

We must remember that VDOT's purpose is to ensure a viable transportation system. As an alternative to the closures, Mr. Homer has proposed allowing privately run shops and restaurants at the rest areas; that would help our cash-strapped state and increase private business opportunities.

Unfortunately, the federal government will not allow it.

Given the condition of our roads, prioritizing the funds to focus on our transportation needs rather than keeping rest areas open was a wise decision. Roads are the economic backbone of Virginia and need to be preserved.

The writer is the executive director of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Concrete Paving Association.

By Stephen Stromberg  | July 28, 2009; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  transportation  
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Perhaps they could keep one rest stop open by doing away with the security people at the Jamestown Ferry. VDOT might consider letting one or two of the deck hands, who I never saw do anything, go as well. Why will the federal gov't not allow private shops? I believe I have seen them in other states?

Posted by: george52 | July 28, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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