Channel 19

Todd Dills

Virginia rest area closures hit the mainstream

| July 23, 2009

The long-planned Virginia rest area closures, which began last week, have been on the trucking radar for months now, ever since the tragic murder of N.Y. hauler Jason Rivenburg in South Carolina focused driver efforts on raising awareness about the dearth of overnight parking in spots nationwide. But yesterday, July 22, a feature on National Public Radio’s afternoon All Things Considered program by Adam Hochberg showed the full measure of public concern over the rest area closings beyond just the Virginia borders and the trucking world.

That included the reality for truck drivers: a hauler by the name of Jason Rife was quoted, saying “Most likely we’ll be parking in unsafe spots to sleep for the night… exit ramps, stuff like that.” Simply put, but a reality in many overcrowded lanes most nights.

The NPR story also features the perspective of Joanna Dowling, a historian, on the slowly vanishing phenomenon of public rest areas. Dowling was also interviewed for this story in Good Magazine about broader cultural phenomenon around rest areas.

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