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Intersection: Vanishing Rest Areas

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FDOT rest area on US 27, Perry, FL. It's one of only two FDOT maintained rest areas that isn't on an Interstate or the Turnpike. Photo: Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons.

According to a recent article in USA today, old fashioned rest areas- where you can pull over and stretch your legs, go to the bathroom, walk the dog or take a nap- are disappearing.

In Florida there are 67 rest areas.  All but two are on the Turnpike and the Interstate system.

The reason given for closing down rest areas: to save money. A Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson said demolishing an old rest area on a local road in Punta Gorda in 2015 saved $300,000 a year.

Historian Joanna Dowling, who documents the history of rest areas on her website, joins Intersection to talk about the cultural value of rest areas. And Josh Carrasco from AAA explains what removing rest areas means for driver safety.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »