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Old 07-12-2009, 05:58 PM   #29
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Well we see the increase in accidents when truckers can't pull over and sleep, and that includes us too I suppose.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #30
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This may really piss off everyone! Sorry dont mean too.
You know it is kinda funny when you hear about all this and the bad thing about it is it is mostly our own fault. We are the ones who constantly elect the officials who run our country, states, counties, cities, and for some reason we always elect ones who have no interest in what could help but those which are interested lining their own pockets. Example the interstate system was originally built from concrete and needed very little update and was easy to repair, but that was replaced with less expensive black top which the money for it was figured at a cost higher than concrete and the extra savings went to political pockets in the form of projects.
There is much that can be done to maintain these stops and reduce costs, first we have to stop cowering to the complainers, we need to take all these people we have in prison watching color tv with cable and put them to work. Instead of us paying taxes to support them, they pay for themselves through the work and saves money which could go to updates and care. I would change the federal law and allow companies to open food courts and such at rest areas and charge rent for doing so this would also create an income instead of money going out. Yes I would separate semi-truck facilities from campers and charge both thus also creating an income.
Point here is we need to elect normal people instead of the rich who are only interested in getting richer and have no idea of what life is really like.
Oh there is much much more that can be done but not enough room here to list.

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Old 07-12-2009, 07:21 PM   #31
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The original interstates may have been concrete, I really never noticed when I was a teenager. But the ones redone now with concrete seem to be bumpy and badly done. In a lot of places they use cheap asphalt which lasts 10 or 20 years. In western Europe they use a higher grade and it lasts 30 or 40 years—higher initial costs, far less long term cost. When they built the system, it was designed for lighter trucks. Sometime about a generation ago, the trucking industry got the laws changed to allow 80,000 lb. rigs which set about destroying the roads and bridges. Before that the roads weren't grooved with two tire tracks as they often are now. I know trucks pay a lot of taxes, but it doesn't seem to equal the damage they cause. I don't have anything against the drivers, but the industry lobby has been effective and the rest of us have to fix the roads.

Charging fees to use rest stops will just result in more trucks using exit and entrance ramps to stop as they do now in states with few rest stops. I wouldn't stop at one that charged a fee to change drivers and use my own bathroom—we've already used ramps when nothing else is available. Rest stops are a safety factor and we want to encourage their use, not discourage use. Most have machines dispensing bad food and drink and probably pay at least some of their way.

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:29 PM   #32
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Just a matter of time

Being someone that lives in Virginia and owns a tourist business (hot air balloon rides) the closings do not sit real well with me. According to information I have from the Virginia Tourism Counsel, the amount of money that will be saved in closing the rest areas will pave about “13 miles of road”. In a Commonwealth that has many thousands of miles of road, it’s a small drop in the bucket. In Virginia, we are currently trying to fight the number that is being closed. It will only be a matter of time, before someone having to get off at a local exit to use the restroom will be in a car accident, they will file a law-suit against the Commonwealth stating:

“By closing the roadside rest areas, the Commonwealth of Virginia “knowingly” created a traffic hazard, thus attributing to the cause of the accident and therefore is responsible in part for the accident”

I guess “Virginia is for Lovers” as long as one of those loves is not going to the restroom!
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:12 PM   #33
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This is not good news. I am one that finds rest stops helpful. I hope the can reinvent them if need be to keep them going like in Texas.
Texas is closing rest stops wholesale and replacing them with a few "Taj-Mahal" rest stops that are scattered far and wide. Between San Marcos and Waco, for instance, there are about four closed rest stops, replaced by one very fancy new rest stop near Salado.

You definitely need an iron butt and a copper bladder to get from one rest stop to the next. I depend largely on truck stops (Flying J preferred), especially since I drive a diesel.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:17 PM   #34
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Some really good comments by all.

Lived in Kansas until 2001. Their highway dept stated their calculations of wear rates on concrete highways was off by 50% primary due to increased traffic but, number one was trucks.

The truck increase since 1990 has been staggering. They do not pay their fair share. 80,000# trucks do much more damage than a 2700# camry. The truckers just have a good lobby.

Tennessee is in trouble because they build primarily stone/asphalt roads and the cost is up just like gasoline.

Highway miles traveled is down due to high costs of everything plus job losses.

States also know how to turn the thumb screws to squeeze more money out of us.

I see no real solution. The federals really don't want you driving, the states are nearly broke, our committments to the rest of the world are not diminishing.

We are still going to Mars.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:10 AM   #35
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I'm trying to remember how my family, mom, dad, brother and I, then 14, made the journey to California in 1952. It was RTE 66 all the way from Illinois, we started from Michigan. Rte 66 was 2 lanes of highway that each state connected together to make the highway. NO rest stops that I can recall. We were towing a 26' trailer that had a full bath but no waste tanks. It was overnight trailer parks for the luxury of bathroom use. I do remember that we stopped for gas frequently . We were on a limited budget so we pulled off the road for lunches in the trailer. There was always someplace to pull over to usually under some trees. Some pull off places a local group would provide picnic tables. Times were different.....not much truck traffic or even any real traffic problems....until we reached the LA freeways on the afternoon of July 3rd! That LA scene hasn't changed. Sorry, I was just remembering..........
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:52 AM   #36
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OH yes those were the days. I miss those type of vacations.

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Old 07-13-2009, 07:07 AM   #37
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OH yes those were the days. I miss those type of vacations.

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:23 AM   #38
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Q) The original interstates may have been concrete, I really never noticed when I was a teenager. But the ones redone now with concrete seem to be bumpy and badly done. In a lot of places they use cheap asphalt which lasts 10 or 20 years. In western Europe they use a higher grade and it lasts 30 or 40 years—higher initial costs, far less long term cost. When they built the system, it was designed for lighter trucks. Sometime about a generation ago, the trucking industry got the laws changed to allow 80,000 lb. rigs which set about destroying the roads and bridges. Before that the roads weren't grooved with two tire tracks as they often are now. I know trucks pay a lot of taxes, but it doesn't seem to equal the damage they cause. I don't have anything against the drivers, but the industry lobby has been effective and the rest of us have to fix the roads.

A) Yes the original was concrete and yes they was made for the type of vehicles that traveled the roads at the time plus 20 years. It was more than a decade when semi's weight restrictions changed it was actually in the late 60's and that was due in part to the larger demand of goods and the lack of trucks. In the middle to late 70's is when the companies started making the changes that effected us all and deregulation started and then the economy being in the mess it was in, Unions making big demands, politicals started using cheaper materials. This is where things really changed for the worse. If they had used concrete made for the weight being placed upon it covered with Black top our highway system would not be in the condition it is today and this is supported by documentation if you do the research.. Currently we have different mixes of concrete that starts at 2000 lbs per square inch (driveways) and goes up to 9000 lbs per square inch and this covered by a good blacktop could last years but the union is not going to let that happen because of the loss of jobs which is the other reason the interstate system is in the condition it is in,, JOB SECURITY.
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Q) Charging fees to use rest stops will just result in more trucks using exit and entrance ramps to stop as they do now in states with few rest stops. I wouldn't stop at one that charged a fee to change drivers and use my own bathroom—we've already used ramps when nothing else is available. Rest stops are a safety factor and we want to encourage their use, not discourage use. Most have machines dispensing bad food and drink and probably pay at least some of their way.
A) I agree with not charging for use of the rest area (RA), but if the RA was to lease space in it and let local merchants rent those spaces to provide a resonable service then you not only maintain with income but provide services to the public and create jobs in the area around the RA. Pretty much like the toll plazas on the toll roads. They provide a place to stop with rest rooms, picnic tables, at no charge but also have food and such for the public. New Mexico when I traveled through it in the semi many of them was the same way, local merchants had food, crafts, etc, supplied and the catch was you had to live near the RA and the money had to stay in the area, unfortunately this was indian land so that is who controlled this. I bought some very pretty handmade jewlery there and watched them make it in some cases, we (wife & I) had some pretty good homemade food too.

NOTE; this is something that can work and should be pushed instead of raising taxes.

Sarge
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:29 AM   #39
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Stop the closing of rest areas

[quote=rideair;720806]Being someone that lives in Virginia and owns a tourist business (hot air balloon rides) the closings do not sit real well with me. According to information I have from the Virginia Tourism Counsel, the amount of money that will be saved in closing the rest areas will pave about “13 miles of road”. In a Commonwealth that has many thousands of miles of road, it’s a small drop in the bucket. In Virginia, we are currently trying to fight the number that is being closed. It will only be a matter of time, before someone having to get off at a local exit to use the restroom will be in a car accident, they will file a law-suit against the Commonwealth stating:

“By closing the roadside rest areas, the Commonwealth of Virginia “knowingly” created a traffic hazard, thus attributing to the cause of the accident and therefore is responsible in part for the accident”

I guess “Virginia is for Lovers” as long as one of those loves is not going to the restroom!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Maybe as a business owner you should submit my suggestion to have the rest areas allow local business owners to rent spaces and supply a service to travelers. I mean do not allow these big companies in there where the money is going into some fat cats pocket and spent in other places and countries, but people who live and have a business near the rest area. We have many talented cooks, crafts makers, mechanics, etc, in these rural areas that could make money and the rest area would pay for itself this way, no rise in taxes.

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #40
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i was thrilled when 95 in NY was completely redone in concrete. i was stunned when i found the ride, even in a car, to be quite bumpy. soon, there were many cracks that were paved over with asphalt. i can believe they were built to specification tolerances.

i hope that the stops that are closed will at least leave the parking lots open but i suppose it would get smelly with folks relieving themselves of other burdens.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #41
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quote wingfoot
They do not pay their fair share. 80,000# trucks do much more damage than a 2700# camry. The truckers just have a good lobby.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX
this is not true, I owned and operated a truck for many years until retirement, and I can tell you that we do pay and pay dearly. You have the heavy duty road use tax paid every year to the Feds, then you have the state milage use tax that is paid for every mile traveled in the state and is only slightly offset if you buy fuel in that state.
Unfortunately the money collected from all trucks does not always go into the road maintance buget as it is federally mandated, so ask your state what they do with the money and it may surprise you as to how much is really collected and then spent on the politicians.

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Old 07-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #42
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This may really piss off everyone! Sorry dont mean too.
You know it is kinda funny when you hear about all this and the bad thing about it is it is mostly our own fault. We are the ones who constantly elect the officials who run our country, states, counties, cities, and for some reason we always elect ones who have no interest in what could help but those which are interested lining their own pockets. Example the interstate system was originally built from concrete and needed very little update and was easy to repair, but that was replaced with less expensive black top which the money for it was figured at a cost higher than concrete and the extra savings went to political pockets in the form of projects.

Point here is we need to elect normal people instead of the rich who are only interested in getting richer and have no idea of what life is really like.
Oh there is much much more that can be done but not enough room here to list.

Sarge
Sarge, not to be a stick in the mud, but money makes the world go round. The interstate highway system was built as the "National Defense Highway System" and was largely begun under the Eisenhower administration. There were a number of social demographic changes occurring post WWII, chief among them the movement to a car for every household. What was good for General Motors then was good for the country, and selling cars was what GM was all about. GM had clout. Oil company clout was increasing, and selling petroleum products produced dollars. Truck companies were also vying to take away freight business from the train monopolies that had their way with the country's economics for a hundred years or so. How to line GM's pockets, the oil company's pockets, and produce lots of tax revenue with those products? Build more roads so people drive more!

Politics are driven by money, and those with it drive the politics. We've seen that repeatedly in the past couple of years with the failure of our financial system. As long as they appeared to be churning out profit dollars, no one was concerned and politics loosened the regulator's grip. That's what happened with our rail system, and is now happening with our highway system.

The problem today is that there isn't a failure on the part of government to fix, repair, and build out as that the industries for which those roads have built out are having financial difficulties of their own. Now WE have to pay again (looking at General Fund dollars) for the infrastructure repairs because the "traditional" road funding sources have gone away. What's worse is that we've built this entire system based on a fuel that has a finite supply.

When you're looking at pointing fingers, you need to look at the history of how we got to be where we are today...

Roger
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