Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

PC Board opposes I-81 rest area closings, to let VDOT know about it

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors will send a letter to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Secretary Pierce Homer objecting to the closing of Interstate 81 rest areas, even though some supervisors are not that concerned about the closings.
Massie District Supervisor Frank Conner said he thinks everyone is “making too big of a deal” out of the rest stop closings. He said he would rather see motorists stop at a Pulaski County business and spend some money on a meal than stop at a rest area.
Draper District Supervisor Dean Pratt agreed. He said he would think merchants would want the extra business.
“I’d rather see them cut the rest areas than road maintenance,” Pratt added.
However, Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers said he thinks the closures will only increase wrecks on the interstate. He contends businesses don’t want all the traffic the closures would generate because most of the people will use their restrooms, but not eat.
Akers explained that more wrecks will occur on the interstate because of additional traffic exiting and entering the highway. Plus, he contends, localities will have to pay more to keep the highway clean because motorists will throw trash out the window because they won’t have access to the trashcans provided at rest stops.
“We’re getting the wrong end of the deal,” Akers added.
He asked that his concerns be added to the letter before it is sent.
In addition to the rest stop issue, the letter also expresses concern about the impact transportation department spending cuts will have on road safety, the Six-Year Road Improvement Plan, and the “overall ability of VDOT to perform it’s core functions.”
The letter states that the board, in general, is against closing the rest stops. It offers the alternative of partially privatizing the rest stops by placing more vendors on the grounds of rest stops “following a competitive procurement process.”
Turning the operating costs over to the local government should not be done, the letter says.
The letter goes on to say that the board believes VDOT’s proposed spending cuts will cause “the general safety and responsiveness of VDOT” to suffer.”
The proposed cuts will “negatively impact the ability of VDOT to repair potholes, clear snow, replace safety and directional signs, stripe roads, replace guardrail, and much more,” it states. “We request that every effort be made to adequately fund routine operational matters as these matters tend to be those that frustrate citizens the most and can potentially result in serious accidents.”
With regards to the six-year plan, the letter states that these funds “are the only realistic means available to improve secondary roads.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to citizens why their roads are not being improved and that they will have to wait to get off the dirt and out of the mud.”
The letter notes that the board believes increases in sales and gas tax rates “should be revisited” as an alternative to the proposed cuts.
“Federal stimulus funds are only a stopgap measure and a more permanent funding solution must be found.”

PC Board opposes I-81 rest area closings, to let VDOT know about it

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors will send a letter to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Secretary Pierce Homer objecting to the closing of Interstate 81 rest areas, even though some supervisors are not that concerned about the closings.
Massie District Supervisor Frank Conner said he thinks everyone is “making too big of a deal” out of the rest stop closings. He said he would rather see motorists stop at a Pulaski County business and spend some money on a meal than stop at a rest area.
Draper District Supervisor Dean Pratt agreed. He said he would think merchants would want the extra business.
“I’d rather see them cut the rest areas than road maintenance,” Pratt added.
However, Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers said he thinks the closures will only increase wrecks on the interstate. He contends businesses don’t want all the traffic the closures would generate because most of the people will use their restrooms, but not eat.
Akers explained that more wrecks will occur on the interstate because of additional traffic exiting and entering the highway. Plus, he contends, localities will have to pay more to keep the highway clean because motorists will throw trash out the window because they won’t have access to the trashcans provided at rest stops.
“We’re getting the wrong end of the deal,” Akers added.
He asked that his concerns be added to the letter before it is sent.
In addition to the rest stop issue, the letter also expresses concern about the impact transportation department spending cuts will have on road safety, the Six-Year Road Improvement Plan, and the “overall ability of VDOT to perform it’s core functions.”
The letter states that the board, in general, is against closing the rest stops. It offers the alternative of partially privatizing the rest stops by placing more vendors on the grounds of rest stops “following a competitive procurement process.”
Turning the operating costs over to the local government should not be done, the letter says.
The letter goes on to say that the board believes VDOT’s proposed spending cuts will cause “the general safety and responsiveness of VDOT” to suffer.”
The proposed cuts will “negatively impact the ability of VDOT to repair potholes, clear snow, replace safety and directional signs, stripe roads, replace guardrail, and much more,” it states. “We request that every effort be made to adequately fund routine operational matters as these matters tend to be those that frustrate citizens the most and can potentially result in serious accidents.”
With regards to the six-year plan, the letter states that these funds “are the only realistic means available to improve secondary roads.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to citizens why their roads are not being improved and that they will have to wait to get off the dirt and out of the mud.”
The letter notes that the board believes increases in sales and gas tax rates “should be revisited” as an alternative to the proposed cuts.
“Federal stimulus funds are only a stopgap measure and a more permanent funding solution must be found.”