A recent blog on Tucscon Citizen.com asked why the Arizona Department of Transportation can’t hire private companies to run businesses out of the state’s rest areas.
In the blog titled, “Privatize Road-Side Rest Areas for Better Service,” author Jonathan DuHamel said that the recent deal approved by ADOT to pay Tennessee-based Infrastructure Corp. of America to sell sponsorships and commercial advertising space is a step in the right direction toward solving the state’s funding problems, but that the state also should license private companies to run the rest areas.
The blog neglects to mention the federal prohibition against commercial rest areas or the fact that ADOT tried and failed in the past to change the federal law.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued guidance for rest area provisions in the last reauthorization of the highway bill in October 2012. The agency correctly interpreted the law to allow only advertising, sponsorships and tourism-related information products at interstate rest areas.
Read NATSO's response here.
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