NATSO Urges FHWA to Enforce Commercialization Ban


NATSO urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in a Mar. 31 letter to formally withdraw its 2020 non-enforcement directive allowing food trucks to operate at rest areas within the Interstate Highway System (IHS) right-of-way and instead enforce the rest area commercialization ban as is required by law.

The non-enforcement directive, NATSO explained, results in foodservice transactions being redirected to food trucks from nearby blind-owned rest area vending machines or struggling off- highway businesses.

“Exceptions to the rest area commercialization ban – regardless of how seemingly targeted they might appear – threaten the competitive and robust marketplace that has been established along the Interstate System and the livelihood of blind business owners across the country,” NATSO argued.

NATSO further indicated its concern with FHWA continuing to encourage inventive methods to circumvent the longstanding ban on commercialization.

Since the iception of the IHS in 1956, Congress has repeatedly and consistently upheld the ban on offering commercial services on the Interstate right-of-way, including in the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

NATSO was joined in sending the letter by a coalition of associations that support the rest area commercialization ban. 

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