Public invited to comment on future of safety rest areas statewide

An online open house is now available for travelers, freight haulers, business owners and others to provide feedback on the future of safety rest areas across Washington state. Input will be used to make decisions about the program’s maintenance and operations and to update the Washington State Department of Transportation’s strategic plan for rest areas.

The online open house is available through 5 p.m. Sept. 5 and allows participants to learn more about the strategic plan process as well as leave comments or feedback.

“This outreach will inform our strategic plan, which shapes the overall operations of our 47 safety rest areas,” said Safety Rest Area Planning Manager Angela Vigil. “It’s an important conversation as we work with our regional maintenance crews, agency leaders and partners on priorities and establish a clearer vision for the future of this program for all travelers.”

The public will have the opportunity to comment on safety, facility conditions, freight parking, site operations, traveler needs, WSDOT’s free coffee program and funding challenges. The agency will begin writing the draft strategic plan this fall, which also will be available for public review and comment. The plan is expected to be finalized in spring 2023.

Online open house information

When: June 27 to Sept. 5

Where: Engage.wsdot.wa.gov/safety-rest-areas/

Details: The online open house is available to access 24/7, whenever best fits individual schedules. The open house includes:

  • Strategic plan information
  • Understanding the Safety Rest Area Program
  • Timeline and next steps

Free, temporary internet access is available at several sites across the state for those who do not have broadband service. A list of sites can be found online at: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/

WSDOT owns and operates 47 safety rest areas statewide. While services at each site vary, most offer general visitor information, electric vehicle charging stations, a place for travelers to rest (8 hours for vehicles and 11 for freight haulers in accordance with federal law), picnic areas, restrooms, drinking water, RV dumping stations, vending machines, and free coffee as part of WSDOT’s free coffee program by local volunteer groups.

 

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