Tag: rest areas

While looking into the recent news that states are starting to shut down many roadside rest areas, I came across a site that once again proves just how wonderful the Internet is: Restareahistory.org, a comprehensive guide on highway rest stops and picnic shelters.

The site, developed by architectural and cultural historian Joanna Dowling, offers what is probably more than you ever thought you'd want to know about safety rest areas. Dowling has collected photos both recent and historic from across the United States, as well as information on architectural elements, planning, development and preservation, along with links to rest-area-related news items and departments of transportation.

Any serious detourist knows it's crucial to take frequent breaks when covering long distances. Even if it's just 5 minutes to stretch your legs and grab a sack of peanut M&Ms from a caged snack machine, a pit stop helps avoid fatigue and possible accidents on the road.

Unfortunately, recent reports indicate that several states are shutting down many of their highway rest areas. According to The Wall Street Journal, departments of transportation are beginning to see their rest stops as obsolete and have begun barricading exits.

Louisiana has closed 24 of its 34 rest areas since 2000, four of them last year. Maine, Vermont and Colorado have recently announced plans to shutter more rest areas because of cash constraints. Rhode Island, Tennessee, Arizona and others are thinking of doing likewise.

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