Commercialization of Rest Areas on the Interstate Highway System

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Federal Statutes and Regulations. 23 U.S.C.

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Commercialization of Rest Areas on the Interstate Highway System

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1. Commercialization of Rest Areas on the Interstate Highway System Opportunities and Obstacles Under Current Law May 22, 2010 Edward V.A. Kussy

2. Federal Statutes and Regulations

3. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 U.S.C. §111 States must agree to prohibit auto service stations and other commercial establishments as a condition of receiving Interstate funding. Grandfathered establishments in existence before January 1, 1960. Allows vending machines providing food, drink and other articles deemed appropriate by the state transportation department. Priority to Randolph-Shepard licensees.

4. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 C.F.R. §752.5 Provides further guidance on vending machine operation. No sale of petroleum products or motor vehicle replacement parts. No charge to the public for goods and services except for telephones and vending machines.

5. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 U.S.C. §131(i) Allow states to provide maps, information directories and advertising pamphlets in safety rest areas. Allows states to establish information centers at safety rest areas and other information systems within the right-of-way to provide such information as the state finds desirable, subject to FHWA approval.

6. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 C.F.R. §752.7 States may establish information centers at safety rest areas Provide information on services, places of interest, and other information the state deems desirable States may establish information systems within federal-aid right-of-way, subject to FHWA approval. Advertising is permitted, if not visible from traveled way.

7. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 C.F.R. §752.8 State may allow privately operated information centers and systems. Private operators may charge local business for advertising. 40% of the display area shall be devoted free of charge to provide information to the traveling public.

8. Federal Statutes and Regulations 23 C.F.R. §752.8 (continued) Equal access will be provided to all advertisers at reasonable rates. State must obtain title to the facility after the term of the agreement expires. State must retain the option to terminate the agreement for convenience. Contracts with private operators are subject to approval by FHWA Division Administrators

9. Opposition National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) NATSO and its allies have opposed rest area commercialization since the inception of the interstate Highway System. They represent 240 corporate entities operating 1,070 travel plazas Successfully opposed alternative fuel corridor proposal on I-5 Other businesses near interchanges Key Members of Congress oppose rest area commercialization.

10. Potential Allies Trucking Associations Truckers want more rest areas and better services. Environmental Groups New facilities would need to be tailored to offer “green” benefits, e.g. alternative fuels or emissions reducing truck idling equipment. Road User Groups Additional rest areas benefit motorists.

11. Commercialization Allowed Under Current Law No limit on the number of privately operated information centers and systems. Commercial facilities located off of the right-of-way, but accessible by pedestrians only from on right-of-way. At specific rest areas based on statutory exemptions. Rest areas on non-Interstate highways.

12. Interstate Oasis Program Created by §1310 of SAFETEA-LU States may designate interstate oases facilities, which must provide: products and services to the public; 24 hour access to restrooms; and parking for automobiles and heavy trucks. Statute seems to allow Interstate Oases within Interstate ROW, but prohibited by FHWA. FHWA would need to issue new guidance to allow on-ROW facilities.

13. Thank You

14. Options for Change Seek outright repeal of current prohibitions Amend 23 U.S.C. §111 Would achieve immediate flexibility and resolve issue Would be opposed by NATSO and its allies Would be opposed by vending machine operators

15. Options for Change Seek authorization to conduct a more limited pilot May be seen as a more reasonable approach by Congress. Would be opposed by NATSO and its allies, and by vending machine operators. Would require states to agree on the number of states and locations in the pilot . May make it more difficult to find a private partner.

16. Options for Change Attempt to identify a compromise that would allow some commercialization Limited locations (i.e., where there no off right-of-way services) Limited products (i.e., no diesel fuel, no food services except vending machines) Ensure continuing business opportunities for vending machine operators Would be opposed by NATSO and its allies May be seen as a reasonable compromise by Congress

17. Options for Change Seek authority from FHWA to conduct a demonstration. SEP-15 may be used to test changes to current law and regulations. FHWA has not acted on SEP-15 application to allow sale of alternative fuels and sundries at rest areas. A very controversial approval could result in repeal of FHWA's authority to conduct special experimental projects (SEPs). Would be opposed by NATSO and its allies

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