[vendtalk] (no subject)

Phyliss Davis phylissdavis1957 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 22 04:00:23 UTC 2009

Dear Kevan.
Thank you for the timely article.  I was the "lucky' vendor whose  rest areas were both closed in Georgia,this past August 19Th,2009, on the same day. I am currently working p/t as helper for another  blind vendor for  $8.50 per hour. My State's SLA and BEP tried to stop the closings, but  to no avail.  There is a Welcome-Center about about 4 hours South of me that is being run by a Vending company under contract with the SLA, but due to the instability of the GDOT decisions to close more rest areas, I have not been offered the opportunity to be the relief operator until the final decision on is  made to either  remodel it  or  close it.  [We think remodel since it is a Welcome Center right on the GA-FLA line, outside of Savannah.]  We lost our house because of the drastic cut in income.  However, I remain prayerful that things will soon turn around.

I would like to hear  from the other Vendors who have lost their locations as to what their States  are doing or what other  recourse are  available  for Vendors like me who have been adversely affected on either the State or even Federal level.  Hopefully, together, we can plan a strategy so that other rest areas can be spared not only for current Vendors, but also future Vendors will  continue to have a business opportunity.

Phyliss Davis

From: Kevan Worley <kevanworley at blindmerchants.org>
To: Vendor Talk Mailing List <vendtalk at nfbnet.org>; Alan Gabriel <gabesvendingservice at msn.com>; Albert Travers <al at a1foodservice.com>; Beth Miller <bcatmiller at comcast.net>; Brad Basta <bmfvend at yahoo.com>; Don Hudson <done.hudson at att..net>; Douglas Haas <cdhaas at interfold.com>; Gary Nelson <vendcrew at msn.com>; Jack Riley <jrservice at q.com>; John Akers <jdmakers at aol.com>; Joy Lynn Nelson <joyfulliving.joy at gmail.com>; Kevan Worley <kevanworley at blindmerchants.org>; Nancy Hoover <nancyhoover53 at msn.com>; Odell Gilbert <crazyog at peoplepc.com>; Orlando Dominguez <dominguez.ent at gmail.com>; Paul Pichardo <joane_pichardo2002 at yahoo.com>; Rob Lewark <bigdaddysuniverse at yahoo.com>; Shannon Abney <rotweilers2009 at yahoo.com>; Steven Hickey <stevenhickey3131 at gmail.com>; Steven Masters <stevedmasters at aol.com>; Steven Patten <footballhead69 at yahoo..com>; Vestal Park <pdolphins at hotmail.com>; Willie Clinton <wsclinton at peakpeak.com>; Zeferino Jiminez <Elmixteco1950 at gmail.com>; Dan
 Whalen <Dan.Whalen at state.co.us>; Jody Fitzsimmons <Jody.Fitzsimmons at state.co.us>; Joel Pavelis <Joel.Pavelis at state.co.us>; tim.poole at state.co.us
Sent: Tue, December 8, 2009 1:26:48 PM
Subject: [vendtalk] (no subject)

Fewer Rest Stops Add to Travel Woes

By Liz Behler

November 16, 2009

Travelers driving during the holiday will find fewer open rest stops along
the highways.

Rest areas have been targeted in recent efforts to curb state spending and
alleviate budget concerns. What started as a quiet trend this summer has
emerged into a much larger movement. To date, a significant percentage of
the approximately 2,500 rest stops along interstate highways have been
shuttered. Even more stops are slated to be closed as the winter season

Georgia led the pack, shutting down two service plazas on Interstate 85 near
Atlanta this summer. The state is also considering closing more, or,
alternatively, keeping them open and limiting their hours of operation.

"We've just got significant budget deficits and are trying to find ways to
save money," said David Spears, press secretary for the Georgia Department
of Transportation, reported the
Associated Press on November 9th. Spears estimates that each closed rest
area will save the state $300,000, but adds that the need for rest stops in
Georgia's rural areas is still valid.

Colorado quickly followed suit, shutting down two of its rest areas as well.
The state is now considering shutting down yet another highway stop near

The Arizona Department of Transportation closed 13 rest areas in October,
citing a budget shortfall amounting to $100 million.

Virginia is another cash-strapped state that has felt the pressure to shut
down rest areas, having closed 19 of its 42 locations. The state estimates
that each closed rest stop saves them close to half a million dollars. Other
states that have closed stops due to budgetary concerns include: Arkansas,
California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Vermont.

Other states, like Wisconsin, have managed to ward off closures by cutting
back in other areas, such as hours of operation. New Mexico is keeping their
rest areas open, but has closed two bathrooms due to insufficient funds.

States that are facing closures in the near future include South Carolina
and Colorado.

Some feel that rest stops are no longer necessary due to the proliferation
of gas stations and fast food restaurants. Even retailers, like Wal-Mart,
are offering the travel-weary alternative places to stay by permitting
recreational vehicles to camp out in their parking lots overnight.

Others maintain that the rest stops are vital to modern car travel.

"In a way, rest areas are something that have been taken for granted and are
just there," Joanna Dowling, a cultural historian who runs the website
RestAreaHistory.org, told the AP.. "They have become this natural essential
part of American travel."

The American Trucking Association is among the opponents of the recent
closures, arguing that privately operated truck stops located off highway
exits wouldn't be able to cope with the excess traffic, reported the
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124656938899088487.html> Wall Street

AAA also weighed in by pointing to data showing that 20 percent of highway
car crashes involve drowsy drivers-a number that could increase due to
disappearing rest stops.

"From a traffic safety standpoint, we are concerned about it,"John Townsend,
manager of public relations for AAA's Mid-Atlantic Club, told the AP.

Despite current conditions, some states are bucking the trend by using
stimulus money to revitalize rest areas.

Due to their wide-open spaces and distance between shops, drivers in states
like Iowa, Texas, and Kentucky depend on rest stops even more than drivers
passing through other states. As a result, these states have been investing
in rest areas.

After shutting down almost half a dozen older rest stops, Texas opened two
new locations in December of 2008 which featured interactive kiosks,
playgrounds, surveillance cameras and a police outpost, reported the Wall
Street Journal. Additionally, the state has continued making improvements by
outfitting each of its nearly 100 rest stops with wireless Internet hot

There are only two states in the Union that are totally unaffected either
way-Alaska and Hawaii-both of which never had any rest stops to begin with.

Thinking of driving this holiday season? See below to find out how many are
open (and how many may be closing) in your state.

Rest Stops By State

2/0/Alabama_WelcomeCenters_RestAreas_20070810.pdf> Alabama: 19 Rest Areas
and 8 Welcome Centers; None closed due to budget constraints
Alaska: No rest stops 
Arizona: 18 Rest Areas; 13 closed in mid-October due to budget constraints
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/arkansas> Arkansas: 19 Rest Areas and
12 Welcome Centers; 2 Rest Areas have been closed and are now only being
used for truck parking
<http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/Statewide.htm> California: 70 Rest
Areas; 17 closed due to budget constraints and remodeling efforts
<http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/state-highway-rest-areas> Colorado: 34
Rest Areas; 2 closed over the summer and another closure is being considered
near Pueblo
<http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=1390&q=292578> Connecticut: 7 Rest
Areas; None closed
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/delaware> Delaware: 2 Rest Areas; 1
currently closed for renovations
<http://www.dot.state.fl.us/statemaintenanceoffice/RestAreas.shtm> Florida:
53 Rest Areas; None closed
Georgia: 17 Rest Areas and 8 Welcome Centers; 3 closed due to budget
Hawaii: No rest stops

htm> Idaho: 29 Rest Areas; None closed
<http://www.dot.state.il.us/restarea/restmap.html> Illinois: 30 Rest Areas;
None closed
<http://www.state.in.us/indot/files/Rest_Areas-2002.pdf> Indiana: 30 Rest
Areas, None closed
Iowa: 40 Rest Areas; None closed. The state is actually updating rest area
facilities at the rate of one every year. 
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/kansas> Kansas: 20 Rest Areas; None
<http://511.ky.gov/rest/home.htm> Kentucky: 24 Rest Areas; None closed
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/louisiana> Louisiana: 34 Rest Areas; 24
closed since 2000 (with 4 closed within the last year alone) 
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/maine> Maine: 50 Rest Areas; 2 closed
along I-95 in Pittsfield due to budget constraints
<http://www.marylandroads.com/Index.aspx?PageId=250> Maryland: 12 Rest
Areas; 3 closed due to budget constraints, modified hours and other
operating changes imposed on other areas
Massachusetts: 20 Rest Areas; None closed, but 5 tourist information centers
had cuts to close the state's $600 million mid-year budget gap
<http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9615-60528--,00.html> Michigan:
81 Rest Areas and 14 Welcome Centers; 4 closed
Minnesota: 77 Rest Areas and 3 Welcome Centers; None closed due to budget
<http://www.mississippi.org/index.php?id=573> Mississippi: 11 Rest Areas
and 10 Welcome Centers; None closed
<http://www.modot.mo.gov/services/travel/restarea/> Missouri: 30 Rest
Areas; None closed
<http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/restarea.shtml> Montana: 52 Rest Areas;
None closed
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/nebraska> Nebraska: 26 Rest Areas; None
<http://www.usroadconditions.com/nvrest.html> Nevada: 10 Rest Areas; None
<http://www.newhampshire.com/explore-nh/welcome-centers.aspx> New
Hampshire: 17 Rest Areas; None closed
<http://www..interstaterestareas.com/new-jersey> New Jersey: 5 Rest Areas; 3
closed not due to budget constraints
<http://www.nmshtd.state.nm.us/main.asp?secid=11135> New Mexico: 32 Rest
Areas; 2 bathrooms were closed as a result of insufficient funds to restore
them after vandalism and age
<http://www.nysthruway.gov/travelplazas/restareas.html> New York: 35 Rest
Areas; None closed
<http://www.ncdot.org/travel/restareas/> North Carolina: 60 Rest Areas;
None closed. The state recently opened an additional rest area
<http://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/maintenance/visitor-centers.htm> North
Dakota: 29 Rest Areas; None closed
<http://www.odotonline.org/restareas/default.asp> Ohio: 55 Rest Areas; 2
closed for reconstruction
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/oklahoma> Oklahoma: 11 Rest Areas; None
<http://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/RAentry.asp> Oregon: 63 Rest Areas; None
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/pennsylvania> Pennsylvania: 33 Rest
Areas and 15 Welcome Centers; None closed
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/rhode-island> Rhode Island: 3 Rest
Areas; None closed
<http://www.scdot.org/getting/restarea_map.shtml> South Carolina: 24 Rest
Areas and 9 Welcome Centers; None closed currently, but the state may face
closures in 2010
<http://www.sddot.com/docs/restareamap.gif> South Dakota: 22 Rest Areas;
None closed

intenance/RestAreas.htm> Tennessee: 32 Rest Areas; None closed. The state
recently opened another rest area. 
<http://www.dot.state.tx.us/MNT/sra/map.htm> Texas: 91 Rest Areas; None
closed. The state is adding more rest stops and upgrading locations
<http://www.udot.utah.gov/public/mmqa/f?p=147:3:2384750189109206> Utah: 20
Rest Areas; None closed
<http://vtransmap.aot.state.vt.us/omc/maps/interstate.pdf> Vermont: 17 Rest
Areas; 3 have been closed and others have had their hours cut
<http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/map-rest-area.asp> Virginia: 42 Rest
Areas; 19 locations have been closed this year due to budget constraints
<http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/RestAreas/restareamap.htm> Washington: 40
Rest Areas; None closed
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/west-virginia> West Virginia: 18 Rest
Areas; None closed. All locations have plans for being demolished and
rebuilt in the future. 
<http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/restareas/locations.htm> Wisconsin: 30
Rest Areas; None closed, however budget cuts have led to reduced hours at
some locations
<http://www.interstaterestareas.com/wyoming> Wyoming: 18 Rest Areas; None

At Your Service, 

Kevan Worley

President, National Association of Blind Merchants

There is a Braille literacy crisis in America.

You can be part of the solution.

=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&identifier=4000> Buy the Louis Braille
Bicentennial Silver Dollar now!

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