Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gotta tinkle? Tough.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Better take momma's advice and go before you leave the house. Don't gotta go? Try anyway.

If you have to go while driving through some states, you'll have to go a longer distance to find a rest stop.

The recession is trickling down to travelers as states cut back on their public facilities to save money.

Virginia plans to shutter 19 of its 42 facilities by July 21, four of them along Interstate 95, a main travel corridor along the East Coast. Vermont, Maine, Louisiana and Colorado have closed rest stops in the past year.

"This was not an easy decision," says Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. "But we are facing this massive funding shortfall."

The department is saving $9 million a year by padlocking the facilities, he says. About 40 million people visited the state's rest areas last year.

More from USA Today.

Ode to the rest stop:

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