Tell DOT Expanding Commercial Services at Rest Areas Hurts Business

As NATSO has previously reported, the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is soliciting public input regarding expanding the types of goods and services that may be offered at highway rest areas located on the Interstate right-of-way. This is a potentially critical development for the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

The request for public comment is a clear indication that some state and potentially federal officials are considering an effort to expand the types of services that are permissible at highway rest areas. It represents the opening stage of that effort.

Specifically, DOT is requesting input as to what constitutes a "vending machine," noting that technological advancements in this area have been significant in recent years.

This is not a new rule, and is not even a proposed rule. It is critical, however, that DOT hear directly from the truckstop industry on the negative impacts of expanding the vending machine definition.

NATSO will submit detailed comments on behalf of the entire industry, but it is critical that FHWA receive personal testimony from members on the consequences of rest area commercialization. Comments are due to FHWA by Dec. 27, 2016.

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David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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