Transportation Policy

Why Can't You Buy a Starbucks on the Interstate?

In 1960, Congress forbid service plazas on the new Interstate highways. It’s time for that to change.

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If you're like me, you may have had an experience like this. You're driving after dark on an Interstate highway and you need a good cup of coffee. If you're on the Florida Turnpike or the Indiana Toll Road, you could stop at the next service plaza and take your choice at an array of retail outlets. But on 95 percent of the Interstate highways, your only option is to wait for an offramp with signs pointing in either direction to gas stations and fast-food places up to several miles away. Some may be closed, and some may be hidden away in shopping plazas.

If your travels have included toll roads, you may wonder why 95 percent of all Interstate miles don't have service plazas like the turnpikes. The answer is that it's against federal law. Back in 1960, when the first Interstates were being built, gas station and restaurant owners along the old highways––like U.S. 66 and U.S. 41, which went right through towns and cities—feared bankruptcy because the Interstates bypassed all those towns. So they lobbied Congress to forbid service plazas on the new Interstates. This gave them the chance to stay in business by building new gas stations and fast-food outlets clustered around Interstate offramps. The fledgling truck stop industry allied itself with the small-town merchants, and built their truck stops as near as they could to Interstate offramps.

Today, 61 years later, a lot of things have changed. There's a huge national shortage of safe overnight truck parking spaces, due to commercial trucking growing faster than land-constrained truck stops. It's also the result of long-overdue federal enforcement of driver hours-of-service regulations, which drivers can no longer evade thanks to electronic (rather than paper) logbooks. 

Second, there's a growing need for electric vehicle (E.V.) charging stations, which have been built mostly in urban areas for commuters and service trucks, but hardly exist on major long-distance highways. The most convenient location for range-anxious E.V. motorists would be at Interstate rest areas. But unless the electricity were given away, that's a commercial service and hence against the law.

A new Reason Foundation study says it's time for the federal ban to be junked. It discusses both the truck parking shortage and the need for convenient E.V. charging stations as the rationale, and it's part of the Foundation's vision of a second-generation Interstate highway system, run mostly as toll roads with first-class commercial service plazas. But before we can even get to the question of toll-financing the rebuilt Interstates, the 61-year-old ban has to go.

The study envisions a coalition of strange bedfellows to lead the way: portions of the trucking industry and the large environmental movement that seeks faster electrification of cars and trucks. Last year, the E.V. crowd managed to get into legislation an exemption from the commercial-services ban specifically for E.V. charging stations. The bill passed the House on a party-line vote but was not taken up by the Senate. The Biden administration's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan includes subsidies for E.V. charging, but is so far silent on whether they could be installed on the Interstates.

Fighting back will be the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), which has successfully defeated previous bills to repeal the ban. Those bills have been desired by state transportation agencies that have no revenue source to maintain their rest areas (which provide only restrooms, vending machines, and a modest amount of parking). Historically, most of the trucking organizations have sided with NATSO, but the owners/operators are already on board for repeal.

Commercialization could actually turn out to be a win-win for truck stops, since they would be in a good position to bid for public-private partnerships offered by state departments of transportation to develop and operate new service plazas, some of which might be truck-only. And 2021 is finally the year when Congress will enact some kind of infrastructure bill. Opening the door for real service plazas on the Interstates has a fighting chance of being included.

NEXT: Joe Biden, Who Says He’s ‘Not a Fan of Court Packing,’ Just Created a Presidential Commission to Study Court Packing

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  1. Totally unnecessary. We are going to be able to take a train coast to coast as fast as an airplane in just a few years. Interstate highways will be obsolete. President Biden told me so.

    1. With $20 microwaved Amtrak burgers that cost the government $35 each.

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    2. That is such a great reply! Kudos!

  2. Interstates have gotten worse over time, too much congestion and just seems run down. Much like airports in the US.

  3. Folgers $7 a tub
    Thermos $10

    Being a real man, driving straight through, pissing in a Gatorade bottle, and not wasting money on coffee for pussies. Priceless

    1. I find that the opening in a Gatorade bottle isn’t big enough.

      1. You don’t try shoving the whole thing in the hole, dummy.

  4. Well, there are a lot of small communities out there that nowadays exist only to serve interstate traffic. If the government deregulates the interstate and permits service centers on them, there will be a lot of pissed off rural folks that will have their livelihoods destroyed when all of that sweet interstate traffic now goes to the interstate service centers.

    1. Won’t someone please think of the cousin fuckers?

      Chuck the mormon thinks I’m you. I don’t care, but I don’t know if you want to be associated with me.

      1. The right-wing morons around here are morons.
        Then there are hate-filled morons like you.

        1. The left-wing morons are far more numerous.

      2. asshole flag

      3. Who hurt you KARen?

        1. A Mormon girl said he had a small Johnson.

    2. “…If the government deregulates the interstate and permits service centers on them, there will be a lot of pissed off rural folks that will have their livelihoods destroyed when all of that sweet interstate traffic now goes to the interstate service centers.”

      So we need the government to pick the winners? How libertarian of you!

      1. Shovel ready jobs for my union friends!

      2. This regulation *prevents* the government from picking winners here.

        1. Yes. Exactly who gets the service plaza deal? Starbucks is free to purchase some real estate by the interstate and set up a 24 hour coffee shop to compete with Pilot and McDonald’s

          If the state won’t let businesses closer to the interstate at some exits, fight for that.

          But service plazas are highly limited real estate and the government literally picks the winners in contracting out the space.

          1. Poole loves toll roads because they’re somehow free market (?). They all have government granted monopoly fuel stations and restaurant’s. This is far better than getting off a freeway and maybe finding a nice little bar and grill with a world class burger.

      3. I didn’t say that. I am simply noting the inevitable consequences of this proposal.

      4. Government picked the winners in 1956 when it enacted the National Highway Defense Act at the behest of Big Auto, Big Construction, Big Trucking, and Big Oil at the expense of the railroads. If you really want to support the libertarian notion of a level playing field, then tell government to get out of transportation business entirely, starting by selling off the interstates. Pretty soon after, you’re going to see a lot of abandoned highways and airports and a lot more rail service.

    3. There are a lot of ghost towns too on the Plains. Actual settlements that were bypassed and died because the Interstates were not designed to be geographic transport infrastructure but were designed to go from the coast to the Midwest. So the interstates there are solely east-west not north-south. Basically to freeze the main population centers where they already were and to leave the unpopulated areas depopulated. Entire states are not really connected to the Interstate system unless they want to view themselves as an off-ramp for trucks traversing across their state.

      And no surprise Reason Foundation wants to double down on all the existing crappiness of the I system in order to give privatized crony deals to different monopolies

      1. We’ll just build north/south toll ways. Problem solved!

    4. It’s also a safety issue — look at the Kennebunk rest areas on the Maine Turnpike — DANGEROUS!!!

      I like the idea of having these places OFF the highway, in sight of it, but not on it.

      1. Stay out of the Bushes!

    5. Such plazas would not remotely be “deregulation” they would all be placed on lands rented or otherwise contracted from the government.

      1. And nothing says liberty quite like rent seeking exclusive arrangements between government and corporations…

  5. I guess that South of the Border (the place where Barbasol Ben Bernanke did the only good and worthwhile work in his lifetime) exists because it predated the law. That was either a remarkable bit of foresight or a remarkable bit of luck, as I-95 wasn’t built until years later.

    1. You know, there were roads before the Interstates. It is on a major north-south route that existed before I-95.

      1. US301

        South of the Border wasn’t a service plaza. It was a private business on private property. You could build the same thing today if you could buy the property at a freeway exit.

  6. I am waiting in anticipation to see how and to whom these limited “freeway accessible,” plazas will be leased. In my mind, I see room for one fast-food restaurant at a particular spot, and every major chain, minor chain, and new start-up will be bidding and bribing to get the right to place one of their restaurants there. Aside from that, I like idea, though I don’t spend very much time on interstate freeways these days.

    1. Nothing says freedom like being forced to patronize airport style crony businesses in a government service plaza.

      1. Well, I don’t see how people would be FORCED to patronize such an establishment. One could still exit the freeway and search for a place that prepares actual food. But certainly, whoever lands the contract (and by whatever means) would be working at an advantage. I do remember some vending machines a few years back at a CA interstate “rest stop.” I think they were operated by a non-profit, but I haven’t seen them lately.

      2. “Nothing says freedom like being forced to patronize airport style crony businesses in a government service plaza.”

        You seem confused.
        Right now, by gov’t edict, you ARE forced to patronize some places.
        Removing the edict allows you choice.
        Is that clear, or would you prefer the gov’t to choose who you may patronize?

        1. You aren’t forced at all. You may, at any time, take any exit ramp and stop at any gas station, convenience store, or restaurant.

        2. You’ve never driven the Florida turnpike have you?

          Those plazas are expensive.

  7. Nothing could be more libertarian than building government malls on government property along the freeways. As Poole wants to toll all the “free” interstates (that we already paid for and pay to maintain) it should be easy to limit access to all those private businesses sitting right there on private property just past the off ramps.

    1. Man, you ARE confused.

      1. No, F4L summed up Poole’s position perfectly. Poole wants to create an artificial monetary barrier to entering and exiting interstates (thus accessing the fully privately owned land and businesses that exist at the off ramps), despite the fact they are already fully paid for through taxes. He then wants to set up government plaza’s where the bureaucrats can arbitrarily deny any business access if they fail to kowtow to the bureaucrat’s sensibilities.

        Remember the libertarians favorite statement. Unintended consequences are not the same as unforseen consequences. Giving governments the ability to pick and choose who has access to prime real estate on interstates will result in giving governments an even greater control over our lives than they already do. There is zero reason for a libertarian to support this policy proposal, when its consequences are so obvious.

        1. Reason has been pimping for toll roads for decades. Nothing remotely “libertarian” about the proposition. Must be uncle Koch is poised to profit somehow. Maybe OBL can enlighten us.

  8. If EV charging stations are in such demand, why can’t private industry build them on private land?

    1. Around here, (Oregon coast), they seem most common;y found at casinos. From what I understand, they are installed by Tesla. Then again, we don’t have multi-lane freeways here.

      1. Around here (Missouri) they are mostly at grocery stores and are typically the furthest parking spots from the entrance.

        I guess they figure those tree-hugging hippies like to walk and need time to charge their vehicles anyway.

    2. Because only a “public private partnership” of centrally planned crony corruption can replace the “commercial anarchy” of gas stations, stores, restaurants and hotels that exist on private property now.

      1. You are no-doubt speaking about the “commercial anarchy,” nearly totally controlled by local government, which tells you what to build, how to build it, and what you can sell. Lordy I would love to see some real, genuine “anarchy.”

        1. Local government doesn’t “totally control” what businesses locate near freeway ramps. They’re quite happy to let the private sector flourish and sit back and collect those sweet property and sales taxes.

          1. Yeah, I know. Most of the time that is true. But I have also seen some businesses denied a permit because some local-yokel didn’t want them there. But, generally, you are correct.

          2. “Local government doesn’t “totally control” what businesses locate near freeway ramps. They’re quite happy to let the private sector flourish and sit back and collect those sweet property and sales taxes.”

            And what makes you think state governments would “totally control” what businesses operated at rest stops?
            I cannot believe the lot of you arguing in favor of government regulation, while claiming some sympathy to libertarian efforts.
            What’s next, forbidding fast-food joints within 5 miles of the freeway off-ramps?
            How much regulation would make you happy?

            1. And what makes you think state governments would “totally control” what businesses operated at rest stops?

              Because that’s how it works at most existing turnpike service plazas.
              They’re expensive too because the government licensed franchises in service plazas kick back a portion of gross sales as well as pay rent.

              Why should a private business, on private property, right off the interstate have to compete with government owned “service plazas” on government property?

              1. “Because that’s how it works at most existing turnpike service plazas.”

                Why do lefty shits argue about hypotheticals as opposed to reality? Simple: They are lefty shits hoping that the bullshit they propose will increase government regulation.
                Fuck off and die, lefty shit; the world will thank you.

                1. So… the government won’t own the land these rest stops are built on and choose whom to lease to?

                  1. It’s amazing how the way things actually work at real-life service plazas on real-life turnpikes is a “hypothetical” in Sevo-world, but the not-yet-existing service plazas on the not-yet-made-into-turnpikes Interstates are “reality”.

                    1. He’s gone full jfree

                2. Actually Feminist4Liberty is correct and you don’t have to research the matter. Just drive down any toll way. Don’t see how pointing out the obvious makes her a lefty shit.

        2. Do Reason authors compare notes? There’s another article in the last few days examining why infrastructure takes so long to build in the US. With all the Interstate highways all pretty much laid out already, it would take about 2 years to build one way station. No thanks the off ramp is fine.

    3. Electric cars, the next big thing for more than 100 years now!

    4. Normally I’d agree, but in this case there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here. People don’t buy EV cars for long-distance driving because there’s nowhere to charge them on the interstates, and people don’t build charging stations on the interstates because no one drives EV cars for long distances. Someone has to break that cycle.

      1. Tesla has charging stations off the interstate. There is one in Limon, Colorado behind the Arby’s for people that don’t mind sleeping in their car in the middle of nowhere while their car charges.

      2. There’s an opportunity for EV manufacturers to partner with existing businesses, like Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s, to install charging stations all across the country.

        So it could be done with modest commercial investment.

        They haven’t done it, because there’s no demand from consumers.

        Consumers don’t demand it, because EV batteries still function poorly for long trips and in inclement weather, and they mostly use their EVs for errands.

        Environmentalists can dream all they want about expanding use of EV, but consumers don’t want it, even with tremendous subsidies.

      3. It’s only a chicken-and-egg problem if you pay 3X as much for the egg as you do for the chicken.

      4. The biggest problem still seems to be that if you are taking a trip beyond your EV’s range, it will involve many hours of charging. Some day electric cars will be viable, I just don’t think battery powered cars will be the answer.

  9. I never have the issue of finding somewhere to eat when I’m driving along an interstate on a road trip. Yes, I have to “exit” the freeway. considering there’s an exit every few miles and I can plan where I’m going to stop, this isn’t an inconvenience. Corporate cronies bidding for one of the limited spaces in a government-sponsored plaza where the food is overpiced is actually a step down from private businesses simply choosing a decent spot near the freeway to set up shop.

    1. You’ll pay to exit and enter anywhere between the 40 mile spaced government plazas if Poole has his way. Read the owner of the Reason Foundation closely…

      A new Reason Foundation study says it’s time for the federal ban to be junked. It discusses both the truck parking shortage and the need for convenient E.V. charging stations as the rationale, and it’s part of the Foundation’s vision of a second-generation Interstate highway system, run mostly as toll roads with first-class commercial service plazas. But before we can even get to the question of toll-financing the rebuilt Interstates, the 61-year-old ban has to go.

      1. Feminist4Liberty
        April.9.2021 at 8:21 pm
        “You’ll pay to exit and enter anywhere between the 40 mile spaced government plazas if Poole has his way. Read the owner of the Reason Foundation closely…”

        OMG! You might have to PAY for what you USE? The horror!
        Fuck off and die, slaver.

        1. We pay right now with fuel taxes, tire taxes and other vehicle taxes.
          Commercial trucks pay by weight as well

          1. Which, of course, did not address my comment. Are you hoping to get out of the 3rd grade this year.
            Sorry, regardless of what respect you hope your handle gets you, you are seriously lacking in intelligence.
            Fuck off and die, slaver.

            1. She directly addressed your comment. You’re seriously losing it guy.

          2. I think this is a reasonable conversation to have.

            Is it better to pay for the highway system with the taxes that we currently have, or would it be preferable to pay for them with some sort of a fee paid only by the users, such as a toll, or subscription, which could be supplemented by revenue from these convenience plazas?

            1. Eh, the current taxes work pretty well as user fees, by all being vehicle and travel related. The odds of you burning large quantities of gas without driving on roads is pretty small. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is electric vehicles. Setting up a tax on charging stations would counter most of that though.

              1. I could be spending plenty on gas without driving on interstate highways though.

            2. With the “pandemic,” commuting decreased and tolls collected dropped. Facilities still had to be maintained, so it came out of general taxes.

              There’s no reason to believe that when tolls paid increases again that less general taxes will be used.

              So let’s not kid ourselves. Tolls don’t pay for roads and facilities. General taxes do.

              End all tolls.

            3. Every consumer pays fuel taxes whether they drive or not because everything they consume gets to them by truck, train and delivery vehicle and those businesses are are supported by millions of others burning gas as sales reps, technicians, etc. The Reason Institute theory that only people who drive on roads should pay for roads is silly. Consumers will pay for roads in the cost of everything they buy whether it’s a tax or a toll no matter who gets the bill. At least paying the fuel tax for most people is anonymous and doesn’t require a government issued tracking device. The Reason position is anti libertarian like most of the rest of their positions.

              1. Well, the most libertarian thing would be private roads paid for by those who use them. Seems preferable from that perspective to have consumers pay for indirect road use as part of the price of goods or services that depend on the roads than to run it through a government agency that you know will not use it very efficiently. Of course, as long as governments own the roads this will still be a problem.

            4. But that’s not the conversation being asked for. the conversation being asked for is “Why can’t we repeal the law to build more tollway plazas?” No indication/fucks given about whether it will lead to lower taxes/costs and strongly implying more building and associated costs regardless of whether collected from tolls or fuel costs.

      2. You’re right. WTHF is this bullshit? The statement doesn’t even make the implication as to whether the proposed second generation toll roads are privately owned indicating that they want the government to build a walled garden of interstate tollways and decide who gets to work/drive there. It’s plainly fascist in every sense of the word.

  10. “Why Can’t You Buy a Starbucks on the Interstate?”

    Because no one needs to buy overpriced bad coffee from a company that is actually a Political Action Committee?

    1. Best laugh of the day. Thank you!

    2. There are Starbucks in some truck stops. If youre at the intersection of a US or state highway and near a town there is likely a free standing Starbucks with a drive through.

    3. “Because no one needs to buy overpriced bad coffee from a company that is actually a Political Action Committee?”

      And you are perfectly happy to have government regulation forcing others to support your views?
      Are you a member of the Roosevelt branch of libertarians?

      1. And you’re perfectly happy to have government run and control the easily accessible food and fuel stops along the highway?

        1. And you are perfectly happy to lie about what is now regulated.
          Fuck off and die, slaver.

          1. Calm down dude. You’re teetering on the edge.

  11. This seems like the poster child for “A solution in search of a problem.”

    1. It’s fucking central planning. Poole is a central planner.

        1. He admits it. He wants to replace the current interstate highway system with a public-private partnership of toll roads with government-run “service plazas” and truck stops with subsidized electric vehicle recharging stations,

          1. You.
            Are.
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.

            1. Actually she’s correct. Again.

            2. Sevo this is not a good look for you.

        2. long-overdue federal enforcement of driver hours-of-service regulations, which drivers can no longer evade thanks to electronic (rather than paper) logbooks.

          Sorry comrade, no one needs to drive 16 hours per day.

          1. I was starting to think I was the only one who noticed that one. I remember reading several articles on this site railing against these hours of service regulations. Seriously has Reason been bought by the same people who took over Drudge?

            1. The author, Robert Poole, bought Reason Magazine back in 1970 and

              Robert Poole co-founded the Reason Foundation with Manny Klausner and Tibor Machan in 1978, and served as its president and CEO from then until the end of 2000. He was a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team in 2000. Over the years, he has advised the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason_Foundation

              The whole mission of the Reason Foundation has always been to advocate technocratic central planning through “public-private partnerships” with the State.

              1. By public-private, he means cronyism and fleecing taxpayers.

              2. The whole mission of the Reason Foundation has always been to advocate technocratic central planning through “public-private partnerships” with the State.
                Not to be confused with fascism.

                1. Aka Minder Gentler Statism.

                  1. Kinder not minder.

                    Fucking autocorrect.

              3. This makes perfect sense. It’s been 20 yrs. since Poole began telling his drivers where to go and he hasn’t driven himself anywhere in the intervening years because the last time he did, he saw a sign reading, “Food -> 0.1” and got confused.

                If, Heaven forbid, the sign had listed out the location of the nearest McDonalds, Subway, Hardees, Burger King, Cracker Barrel, Shoneys, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Dominos, DQ, Little Ceasars, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sonic, Arby’s, Papa Johns, Jimmy Johns, Popeyes, Chik-fil-A, Panera, and Panda Express, he would’ve been forced to stop the car and get down on his hands and knees and been forced to beg Father Bernie to provide him with fewer options.

  12. WTF? Is this now Libertarians for government-managed business contractors on government land? What next? Praise for military contractors?

    1. See above. Bob Poole owns/controls the foundation/website and magazine. He lives for this shit.

      1. He’s also an imbecile. I have read some of his aviation musings….

        1. The ATL paid Poole to fix our traffic. He proposed tunneling under the city through granite and creating toll lanes on existing interstates by narrowing the existing lanes rather than building new ones. If people continue to work from home and don’t use the newly-constructed “toller-coasters” the “public sector” taxpayers will have to pay to guarantee profits for their “private sector partners”.
          The state guarantees their revenue if actual use drops below projections.

          1. And that (undocumented) whine has to do with this issue exactly how?
            Fuck off and die, lefty piece of shit

    2. “WTF? Is this now Libertarians for government-managed business contractors on government land? What next? Praise for military contractors?”

      Uh, allowing private interests to offer services is WHAT?
      Fucking idiotic…

  13. If your travels have included toll roads, you may wonder why 95 percent of all Interstate miles don’t have service plazas like the turnpikes.

    First, along the Indiana-Illinois toll roads they’re known as Oasis/Oases, not service plazas.

    Second, if you lived near them and stopped in to them with any regularity, you wouldn’t wonder why a interstate miles don’t have Oases. Outside the city, I’m hard pressed to think of less desireable places to get gas and food, both selection, environment, and price-wise.

    1. And you are more than happy to have government regulations force others to do what you prefer, right?

      1. He prefers government inaction to allow the free market to offer you choices.
        RTFA
        Bob Poole is essentially calling for “nationalizing the truck stops”.

        1. “He prefers government inaction to allow the free market to offer you choices.
          RTFA”

          Are you really stupid enough to propose that?

          1. These plazas are not and would not be entirely private. Nobody is going to just let companies put exits on the interstate anywhere they like.

            Allowing that to happen might be cool…. But it ain’t happening.

            Allowing private on and off ramps would enhance some things, but would wreck the “limited access” part of the equation. Cities already gum up the works by using interstates as arteries with too many exits instead of building separate roads for the purpose.

            Instead of beautiful, privately run plazas in the middle of nowhere, you would get extra exits downtown for office buildings. And single vendor plazas in prime locations instead of the completive multivendor exists we have now.

            This really seems like a solution to the wrong problem.

            That being said….. Major sporting venues should all have dedicated roads and exits. The Charlotte Hornets built their stadium between 2 major arteries and had a dedicated set of exits and reversible lanes. That thing emptied out like a toilet flushing. The Miami sports teams are downtown with surface streets carrying much of the traffic. Really dumb.

      2. And you are more than happy to have government regulations force others to do what you prefer, right?

        You do realize that unless you can name the private entity that chose to build the Oases over the tollway with private funds, you’re falsely portraying the choice between two forced government actions as a choice between government action and no government action, right?

        Or are you so stupid as to assert that a law regulating or limiting government action abridges people’s freedoms?

  14. Man, there are some imbecilic comments here.
    Hint: Gov’t regulations =/= freedom.
    Right now, the gov’t says you *must* exit the freeway, and it’s fine by me if you’re pleased with that, but I’m not, and you can shove your preference for regulation up your ass.

    1. Man, there are some imbecilic comments here.

      Yes, the majority by you.

      Look we get it. It’s hard to actually think about things more complex than : regulation = bad

      But this regulation actually makes a lot of sense.

      The government built the freeways. The interstate is public property not private. Banning commercial enterprise on public property is a good thing in this instance. It means that there wont be the cronyism and corruption of which businesses get to be part of the private/public partnership and it also means that it wont fuck over all the private businesses and small towns that are located along the freeways.

      There is nothing market based about doing what is being proposed. It’s crony capitalism at it’s finest.

      1. “..Look we get it. It’s hard to actually think about things more complex than : regulation = bad..”

        You bet! If lefty assholes like you *FAVOR* that regulation, well, imbecilic comments like yours are just fine for imbecilic assholes like you.
        Yep, you *LIKE* those government regulations, so everyone else should be forced to comply with what *YOU* like, imbecilic lefty asshole.
        Is that clear?
        —————————————————
        And then we get the standard imbecilic lefty asshole ‘argument’ regarding an imagined hypothetical rather than reality:

        “There is nothing market based about doing what is being proposed. It’s crony capitalism at it’s finest.”

        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.
        And seemingly proud of it.
        Fuck off and die, slaver.

        1. Waaaaaaa! Government needs to build me a Starbucks and Panera Bread and charge my car on public property so I don’t have to get off the highway, make choices and see yokels!

          1. Waaaaa! Government needs to prohibit me from buying goods that the lefty shit Feminist4Liberty doesn’t like!
            Either we’re dealing with a 5-YO intelligence level here, or an outright lefty pile of shit.

          2. so I don’t have to get off the highway

            Again, even this is ceding their argument. You still have to get off the highway. You just don’t have to get as far off to the left at the top of the exit ramp as you would if the regulation were repealed. The fact that many times the market makes it so that you don’t have to get even that far off to the right is completely ignored. The fact that many times the market doesn’t make it closer on the right, is because it’s similarly prevented by federal law is also ignored.

            Ultimately, it’s smoke and mirrors. A stalking horse to drum up more infrastructure spending to get more of Biden’s mandated EVs on the road. And Reason is either legitimately fooled or simply playing the part.

            1. This is much closer to reality than some libertopia where private service plazas are ubiquitous and deliver better service than a freeway exit.

            2. And Reason is either legitimately fooled or simply playing the part.
              Why can’t it be both?

          3. I’ve definitely pick up something new from right here.

            insurance policy

      2. Let’s make clear to those not so imbecilic as the lefty shit Chicago Tom:
        Sevo’s law:
        ANY third party intervention in a free trade between two parties means at least one, and probably both, lose.
        Yes, Chicago Tom, there are NO government regulations regarding trade witch are not harmful to the welfare of the populace, regardless of your asinine assertions.
        Again, fuck off and die, slaver.

        1. “Yes, Chicago Tom, there are NO government regulations regarding trade witch* are not harmful to the welfare of the populace, regardless of your asinine assertions.“
          *Witches ride on broomsticks by the way…

          So, regulations requiring cars to have seatbelts and airbags are “harmful to the populace?” How about regulations against fraud? (Not hypotheticals because there are actual laws/regulations regarding both)
          Obviously the car manufacturers lose something, because they’re required to pay more to install seatbelts and airbags, and obviously a would-be fraudster looses out on scamming someone out of cash… but those are not the “general population”.

          Libertarianism is a great theory, until one remembers that humans constantly make choices that affect other people in bad ways, even if it’s not intended.

          Honestly though, this just doesn’t even seem like a big deal, I really don’t care either way if they keep this banned or unban it.
          People with a one-size-fits-all/ “I am correct and fuck you, you’re stupid if you don’t think so” style of thinking piss me off though ????

          1. Here, in short, is the justification for authoritarianism:

            “Libertarianism is a great theory, until one remembers that humans constantly make choices that affect other people in bad ways, even if it’s not intended.”
            Commie shit claims commie shit knows what’s good for you!

            “Honestly though, this just doesn’t even seem like a big deal, I really don’t care either way if they keep this banned or unban it.
            People with a one-size-fits-all/ “I am correct and fuck you, you’re stupid if you don’t think so” style of thinking piss me off though ????”
            Commie shit doesn’t care, therefore commie shit says you’ll get what commie shit finds acceptable.
            Fuck off and die, asshole.

            1. “Commie shit claims commie shit knows what’s good for you!”
              I don’t claim to know what’s good for anyone in this particular case, I’m just pointing out not all regulations regarding trade in some way, are negative to the general public,
              Can’t refute my point so ignores most the comment, and only comeback is “fuck off and die”.
              Are you 12 years old? Or just a troll who can’t find his way back under his bridge?

              “Commie shit doesn’t care, therefore commie shit says you’ll get what commie shit finds acceptable”
              Unbanning, or keeping it banned is acceptable to me though. I’m not arguing for either. I’m only pointing out how hilariously stupid and narrow minded you are.

              1. Sevo is like 100 years old and wants you off his lawn.

    2. Right now, the gov’t says you *must* exit the freeway

      No, dumbass. The laws of physics† say you *must* exit the freeway. The government says they’ll take more of your money and build a place for you to sit on top of the freeway whether you want it or not while the private sector says the government should, instead, offer more options for people to choose.

      If you want to eat while you commute along a fixed path with no stops that was built and is maintained by eminent domain, hop on board Biden’s choo choo.

      † Technically, the government says you have to exit the freeway. If the private sector had its way, you could probably get your coffee delivered to you by drone or an Uber Eats driver at speed.

      1. “…The government says they’ll take more of your money and build a place for you to sit on top of the freeway whether you want it or not while the private sector says the government should, instead, offer more options for people to choose…”

        Did you drag that strawman all the way from home, or find it nearby?
        Fuck off and die

    3. Hint: Gov’t regulations =/= freedom.

      Wow, Poole really did a number on you with his framing, didn’t he.

      The ban on “service plazas” is a Federal limit on state government action, prohibiting state governments from creating special government-owned and -privileged facilities to compete with private ones on the Federal dime.

      Characterizing it as “government regulation” is like characterizing the First Amendment prohibiting states from setting up book censorship boards as “government regulation”, because it is a Federally-enforced restriction on what a state government may do.

  15. The service plazas along toll roads have always been a monopoly where the state governments lease space to presumably the highest bidder. When I was a kid, the Mass Turnpike only had Howard Johnson’s (Barf!) and Mobil gas, now it’s food courts where you at least have a choice of junk food and Gulf gas and EV charging stations. I admit it would be nice on road trips not to have to get off the highway and drive up to a few miles to find gas and food, but don’t expect the current administration to do anything that would make sense, especially if it might be pro-car. Remember, the democrats want us all to live in cities and take public transit.

    1. You’ll eat a HoJo’s clam roll and like it!
      Freedom From Choice at Soviet Service Plaza.

      1. Commie shit tells you what you’re allowed to eat, while claiming that is ‘freedom’!
        Commie shit needs to fuck off and die. The world will thank you, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

        1. Pretty comical. He’s parodying your position and you’re trying to eviscerating the parody persona for being a leftist commie shit.

          Watching Obama act out Clint Eastwood’s chair skit with himself in both positions would or at least could be pretty fucking hilarious. Obama telling his own ego, “I’m not gonna shut up. It’s my turn.”? Fucking awesome.

          1. Even more comical: you can’t read.

    2. get off the highway and drive up to a few miles to find gas and food,

      Where do you have to do that today? I’m genuinely curious because my experience is services not within sight of the off-ramp is a rarity, not the norm, in 2021.

      1. I95N NC/SC corridor has some moments…

        I’ve driven 12 hrs straight enough times through that area that the late night can make some of those stretches unbearable.

        I’ve wondered why some are completely bare, but depopulation may play a roll in some cases.

        1. Much of that stretch of low country has never been populated enough to undergo depopulation.

      2. If you run gmaps or Waze or just GPS you’ll know your options hours in advance including operating hours and pump price. There are places where services are sparse but it’s never been easier to find them and plan accordingly.

  16. “The service plazas along toll roads have always been a monopoly where the state governments lease space to presumably the highest bidder…”

    Which is pretty much the way a market works, as opposed to the governments prohibiting such sellers from offering their goods from that location, regardless of the lefty assholes above hoping they can keep you from getting what you’d like where you’d like.

    1. No, in the free market the government does not own all the land and get the option to arbitrarily cut off access to any unfavored business. At an off ramp, we don’t have to worry about Chik-fil-a getting pushed out by a government bureaucrat. At a government owned travel plaza they’ve already been pushed out no matter how much they bid.

  17. Now I get it! Sevo’s so adamently defending tollway plazas because that’s where he’s busy hocking Cinnabons during the day.

  18. Along the Illinois *toll*ways, there are 7 Oases in an ~30 mile radius. With all the exits to local businesses that were absolutely necessary to the interstate (critically as the streets necessitated the interstate and not vice versa) and have nothing to do with the legislation indicated, IDOT still built *7* Oases within 1 gallon of gas’s distance from each other. Moreover, the ‘strategic’ locations of the Oases are, and always have been, between 2 *cities* (where the above-mentioned exits once again become mandatory) well within the range of todays poorest EVs, let alone ICEs. They cost extra money to maintain, do *nothing* to enhance the functionality of the interstate itself, and necessitate the use of eminent domain to erect exit/entry ramps where there are no side streets. And Reason thinks not just IDOT, but every state from New York to California should be building more of them.

    So, the real question is how stupid is Reason? The assertion that more need to be built or that the government would do it competently or allow private contractors to do it in a manner even remotely resembling competency is as patently retarded as the argument that self-driving cars will free up public parking. So, how densely packed will the EV charging stations have to get before they realize that they’re the stupidest of fucking tools? 1/2 mi.? 300 ft.? Mandated charging stations in every home and business?

    Maybe the real question is actualy how stupid does Reason think its readership is? How blatantly would Reason have to shill for more needless infrastructure spending before their readers catch on.

    1. the argument that self-driving cars will free up public parking

      Am I wrong in thinking that *MIT-educated* Poole was the sub-8th grade idiot who let the shit he has for brains run out of his mouth on this topic too?

      Goddamn it if the notion that the number of cars will stay the same or even increase and their individual size will remain unchanged but the total space they occupy cumulatively will decrease wasn’t one of the stupidest propositions I’ve ever heard an educated specialist make.

      1. The idea of ‘frees up parking’ is that people won’t own their own cars in the cities – they’ll rent them as needed.

        So you have fewer cars servicing the population because, really, your car does sit idle most of the day.

        So you call the ‘e-Uber’ and it picks you up and takes you to work and then instead of sitting in the parking lot until you’re ready to go home, it goes out and gives someone else a ride.

        1. actually you get more cars circling around all day waiting to pick up riders, or looking for a parking spot.

          1. So – less parking needed as they’re being ‘stored’ on the roads.

            1. As long as your car still consumes the same amount of square footage, the parking space it consumes, wherever that may be, is still the same.

              Even then, this is being generous. A parked car only requires it’s physical volume in space to be stored. A moving car must have a buffer around it to prevent it from getting damaged or damaging other vehicles. You (or a computer) can park cars closer together than they could be spaced commuting at about any speed.

        2. So you call the ‘e-Uber’ and it picks you up and takes you to work and then instead of sitting in the parking lot until you’re ready to go home, it goes out and gives someone else a ride.

          First, this is ride sharing or carpooling and can be done without self-driving cars.

          Second, your car doesn’t take up any less space in motion than it does at rest.

          Third, the original claim was even worse than what I suggested. The claim made was that they would save energy, reduce the need for parking, and reduce wear.

          Even the logistical argument was pretty weak. The estimated reduction in parking was less than any increase in vehicle sales in the US any given year (which rendered the other claims a lie).

    2. Oases of libertarianism indeed:

      From 2003 to 2005, an extensive renovation program of the oases was completed, which involved demolishing the old structures down to the bridge deck and replacing them with new buildings. Where in the previous buildings the views of the highways were blocked by the vendor restaurants, in the new buildings large expanses of glass are used to create a sense of openness, and to give patrons better views of the highway. The steel truss design also has greater roof height (nearly 30 feet or 9.1 metres) than the old buildings, which increases visibility for the oases. The architects for the project were Cordogan Clark & Associates. The gas stations were rebuilt with canopies to cover the gas pumps. The oases were redeveloped at no cost to the ISTHA or the Illinois taxpayers. The $95 million investment was provided by Wilton Partners of Los Angeles, California and ExxonMobil in exchange for a 25-year lease. Under the lease, Wilton would pay ISTHA a percentage of vendor sales with a minimum of $750,000 per year.[19]

      The lease agreements between ISTHA, Wilton Partners, and various vendors have come under investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. This investigation, reported on December 30, 2005, will determine if a conflict of interest existed between the lessees and a political fund-raiser for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Antoin Rezko). DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett had also requested documents pertaining to these leases earlier in 2005.[20] According to the Chicago Tribune, the Subway restaurants in two oases are managed by the nephew of Tony Rezko, a controversial political fundraiser. In response, tollway spokesmen noted that Wilton Partners was selected during the administration of Governor George Ryan and that the lease gives Wilton discretion to select the individual vendors.[21]

      News accounts quoted businessmen who claimed that Jay Wilton, the President of Wilton Partners, encouraged them to donate funds to Blagojevich’s 2003 gubernatorial campaign.[19] In December 2003, Wilton Partners reportedly gave Rezko’s Panda Express franchise a 50% reduction in its rent at the oases.[19] In January 2007, Wilton stopped making required payments to ISTHA for the oases, and by February 2008, when the back rent grew to $1.4 million, Wilton and ISTHA entered into settlement negotiations.[19] However, in July 2008, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan rejected a proposed settlement where ISTHA would forgo the $1.4 million in back rent in exchange for Wilton dropping a claim of $4.7 million for lost business due to tollway construction.[19] In the spring of 2009, Wilton Partners’ lender, iStar Financial, foreclosed on the oases.[19] Subsequently, the court appointed U.S. Equities, a Chicago firm, to manage the oases pending the outcome of the foreclosure.[22] Further, another food vendor operating in all seven oases who donated to Blagojevich has also received press attention for failure to pay sales taxes and state unemployment insurance.[23] In 2010, SFI Chicago Tollway LLC became the oases’ operator. In 2012, SFI paid the Tollway $813,000 for a long-term lease to operate all seven oases, excluding the fuel stations and convenience stores operated by 7-Eleven.[18]

      “We need to lift federal law so that Biden we can divert more money to the Chicago Democratic Machine.” – Reason

    3. I 88 which runs as a toll way out of Chicago to Dixon is designed with very limited access. There are very long stretches of road with no exits and the few that exist charge an additional toll to get off. Nothing from Aurora to Dekalb where you’ll find an oasis and, you guessed right, another toll booth just before you reach I 39. If you pass 39 you ain’t getting off until Dixon where you’ll find yet another toll booth. After that you can drive for free to Iowa. The road is designed to maximize profits for the state of Illinois and deny access to any merchant who might want to set up shop along the way.

  19. This seems like a solution without a problem. There are truck stops of several different stripes along all major trucking routes. Pilot, Love’s, TravelCenters of America…..

    We have government run plazas on turnpikes… But are they really better? You get a mall food court with a gift shop in a really nice building with nice landscaping. But you also get captive pricing, and government priorities in contracts… Businesses must be minority owned, no Chik fil A… Might offend someone…. No waffle House…. Can’t afford those rents..,. No U-Gas or other discount alternatives…. Nothing remotely as nice as a Wawa, QT or Racetrack.

    A dedicated off ramp? That is what we are worried about?

    It is almost as if these people have never traveled the turnpike and used a service plaza.

    I am sure there are places in the Midwest and western states where exits and towns are far enough apart that a government run (and subsidized) plaza would be a great addition for the consumer. Heck, I do a drive up through western Illinois and Wisconsin that desperately needs some more exits, gas stations and restaurants. Guess why they are not there? It ain’t because did this rule.

    This is sort of the anti-libertarian solution. Government run food courts are not really the freedom you were looking for.

    1. Yea, but the stress of choosing between the TA with a McDonald’s attached .1 miles from the exit and a Love’s with Wendy’s .2 miles off is too much to bear!

    2. States build rest stops with bathrooms and vending machines in those places.

      1. Not all states. I’m guessing you’ve never been to Missouri.

    3. I can’t speak for the Midwest, but out here in the West I don’t think there’s many places where you’re not less than 2 hours from a gas station.

      There would be no real point to putting one in a rest stop or even increasing the number of rest stops. It really does seem as if the private market has this already taken care of.

    4. We have government run plazas on turnpikes… But are they really better?

      No. Pull into any Love’s, calculate the square footage of the lot, or even just the square footage of the trucks sitting there and explain how that square footage would make even a lick of sense or be even marginally improved in terms of cost and maintenance if it were poured concrete over the top of the freeway. And that ignores the the incompetence of government construction and ownership. I’d wager a bet to say that the largest privately-owned truck stop plaza like a Love’s is several fold larger than the largest state-owned pulloff and operates at a profit several times larger than the state-owned pulloff’s losses. A situation where the private gas, restaurant, shower, bar, grocery truckstop is effectively subsidizing the state’s square of paved concrete.

      A dedicated off ramp?

      Again, this is a lie. There are (virtually) no dedicated off ramps for private gas stations or hotels. There are off ramps for state roads and local streets, which is the very reason the interstate exists in the first place. The plazas, by design, necessitate dedicated off ramps.

      This is an overt attempt to divert more infrastructure spending to states that are more willing to convert their highways into the asphalt equivalent of high-speed rail.

    5. Your comment about Chik-Fil-A really shows how anti-libertarian this whole article is. I’m not sure how the thought of replacing hundreds of private businesses competing in an open market with a few government picked ones during highway travel got onto a site like Reason.

      The editors need to sit down and ask themselves if they are really libertarians anymore.

  20. Reason.com for government managed monopolies over private sector solutions! Yay libertarianism!

  21. A whole pile of assholes defending gov’t regulations!
    How………..
    Authoritarian.

  22. I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t I just build a travel center at one of those off ramps you say is empty?

  23. I’ma have to disagree with some things here.

    1. Service plazas aren’t anywhere near as common as off-ramps. Off-ramps that pretty much all lead to services within a mile.

    As an example, between Yuma and San Diego – 250 miles – there are two service plazas. One at Gordon’s Well that exists because that’s where OTV’s like to ride the dunes, and one outside El Centro. There’s at least one gas station and restaurant at Araz Junction, Gordon’s Well, El Centro, Ocotillo, Jacumba, Golden Acorn Casino, Alpine, and by this point you’re less than an hour to hit San Diego.

    My experience in the West is that there’s far more small towns just off an off-ramp than there are service plazas. My experience on the East Coast is that you can drive from Boston to Atlanta basically without ever leaving the city.

    2. There’s limited real estate on the freeway. You can make much more expansive service areas just off an off-ramp.

    3. This means more potential competition, keeping service costs down. This also allows a wider variety of services to be offered (potentially).

    There’s a huge national shortage of safe overnight truck parking spaces,

    Not that I’ve noticed. I mean, there are several million miles of interstate shoulder that truckers seem to have no problem stopping on. I would not call that ‘unsafe’.

    The most convenient location for range-anxious E.V. motorists would be at Interstate rest areas.

    Would it not make more sense to put them at the restaurants and hotels you’ll be staying in. Anyway, if you have an EV, why aren’t you flying if you’re going on such a long trip that you need charging partway through it? Do you not care about the environment?

    But on 95 percent of the Interstate highways, your only option is to wait for an offramp with signs pointing in either direction to gas stations and fast-food places up to several miles away. Some may be closed, and some may be hidden away in shopping plazas.

    Couple things here.

    a) Where are these mythical gas stations that will be closed? In the middle of the night? Should you not be resting at that point anyway. Also, this is 2021, not 1991. In the early 1990’s you could find interstate service places that closed at night. Out here in the west, where the density is a fraction of what it is out east, everything is open 24 hours and has been for 20 years.

    b) Shopping plazas aren’t exactly hidden. Sort of the point is to make them easy to find. I can’t imagine what sort of town has a small mall – but nothing around it and so you have to get out of the car (shock! Horror!) and walk inside.

    Personally, I think the government actually made a good decision here (even if accidentally – even a blind squirrel finds a nut here and there). And I’m not keen on another infrastructure bill that will increase debt and raise taxes – because there just no fucking way you’re getting private companies to fund the expansion of ‘service plazas’ (ie, rest areas) without some way of them locking you out of other options.

    And, in the end, all removing this restriction would do is move some gas stations and restaurants from at the bottom of the off ramp to – wait for it – the end of a different off-ramp. While locking in large franchise owners and locking out competition.

    1. And by ‘made a good decision here’ I mean ‘prevented government bureaucrats from screwing things up because one of them wants to curry favor with some special interest or is looking for a promotion so ‘must get an accomplishment for my record – I know, let’s built unnecessary service plazas!’

    2. you can drive from Boston to Atlanta basically without ever leaving the city

      The Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis better known as “the Sprawl”.

  24. What? There are plenty of “service plazas” on the interstate. You just have to exit and get back on. They even have helpful signs saying which businesses are at the exit.

  25. Has Poole ever driven a long distance on the interstates? There are big privately-run travel plazas every few exits outside of the cities, and ecosystems of restaurants and stores that spring up around many of the exits. Some of them have Starbucks. Why isn’t that good enough?

    1. It’s chaos
      Too many choices
      Must have government-approved central plan for uniform services offered by authorized private sector partner(s) in official 40 mile toll-road interval government plaza.

      1. “It’s chaos
        Too many choices
        Must have government-approved central plan for uniform services offered by authorized private sector partner(s) in official 40 mile toll-road interval government plaza.”

        Did you get help with that strawman, lefty shit?
        You are suggesting that what Poole proposes limits choices?
        When are you going to get out or the 6th grade, lefty shit?

        1. Kind of funny watching the guy stumping for replacing the free market with tightly controlled government plaza’s accusing others of being lefties. No matter how hard you try, the government granting specific favored companies a monopoly on access to interstate traffic will never be a good thing.

          Hell if you don’t believe it, go visit one of these government plaza’s and compare the options and facilities to what you get at nearly every truck stop and off ramp in America. Even in the middle of nowhere offramps will let you pick from two brands of gas stations. Government owned plaza’s grant a monoply to one brand of gas station on a road they are installed. Food options? Again, off ramps and truck stops will give you a vast array of options, and if you don’t like the ones available at one off ramp you can keep driving and get a whole slew of new options at the next. Government owned plaza’s at their best give you a tiny food court with the exact same options at every one along the road (that good old government granted monopoly at work again).

          Serious question Sevo. Why are you dying on the hill of promoting government controlled and owned travel plaza’s, when we already have vastly superior options at nearly every off ramp in the United States?

          1. “Serious question Sevo. Why are you dying on the hill of promoting government controlled and owned travel plaza’s, when we already have vastly superior options at nearly every off ramp in the United States?“

            It’s because Sevo is a troll who got lost on it’s way back to it’s bridge from the beach- where it got a ton of sand in it’s vagina. Thus the seemingly conflicting, nonsensical, rage filled comments.

            Also it couldn’t get it’s Starbucks.

    2. “Why isn’t that good enough?”

      Perhaps because it’s none of your business, lefty shit?

      1. Did you recently come back from the beach, Sevo? Because you seem to have sand in your vagina.

        1. Could you learn to read Josh? Or is that too difficult, lefty shit?

      2. That doesn’t even make sense.

        1. Pointing our that someone’s question is none of their business ‘makes no sense’?
          Are you a lefty shit, or did I miss your intent?

  26. I-95 going through CT has service areas. It was the CT turnpike before the Interstate highway system began and they just hooked up to it. I recall when McDonalds took over for Ho Jos. McDs gave the state $30 M vs $5M from HoJos. Fast food vs sit down and relax food. Other interstates in CT have off ramps. Exit 67 on I-84 will get you the Rein Deli. Worth the stop.

  27. Nice post! great content. Not to sure of the federal law on service plazas i have been really informed about the topic. Thanks for sharing such a useful content.

    1. Yes, I have read the whole thing, and my gripe regards charging stations for E vehicle; they need to pay for their fuel.
      Other than that, I notice you reference nothing which puts your lefty-shit pants in a wad.
      Fuck off and die.

      1. “truck stops and travel plazas provide 90% of legal overnight truck parking in the United States” First issue that appears, the piece tries to conflate privately owned truck stops with government owned travel plaza’s. (FYI Sevo, travel plazas are like 90% of airports. Government property that rents space to private businesses, but maintains the right to deny space to any private business they want and to inflict any arbitrary requirement they want at any time) Travel plaza’s as government owned spaces are inferior in nearly every way to truck stops which are privately owned spaces. They have inferior options. They overcharge, and their amenities are not as good.

        1. Government allots a contract to a single multi-national corporation that has 100% operation and control over it’s “brand partners”.
          Basically the monopoly corporation will run a McDonalds under its own terms on the low end and pay a chef to put her name on their concept of a premium brand. This is your travel plaza “agora” one corporation, in partnership with the state, and build the Green New interchanges to bypass the free market competition.

          1. In the Reason Foundation study Robert Poole proposes government set the price of fuel at the P3 Soviet Service Plazas to offset the absence of market forces on a sole statewide monopoly provider.

          2. Feminist4Liberty
            April.11.2021 at 12:24 am
            “Government allots a contract to a single multi-national corporation that has 100% operation and control over it’s “brand partners”.
            Basically the monopoly corporation will run a McDonalds under its own terms on the low end and pay a chef to put her name on their concept of a premium brand. This is your travel plaza “agora” one corporation, in partnership with the state, and build the Green New interchanges to bypass the free market competition.”

            Why is is that lefty shits *always* argue against an assumed hypothetical rather than facts?
            Easy: they are too fucking stupid to recognize there *are* facts. Fuck off and die, stinking pile of lefty shit.

        2. “…Travel plaza’s as government owned spaces are inferior in nearly every way to truck stops which are privately owned spaces. They have inferior options. They overcharge, and their amenities are not as good.”

          Irrelevant, unless you assume YOU are more informed than the truckers.
          Same rule applies; regulations reduce choices and only lefty shots prefer telling others what they are allowed to do.
          Wanna join the ranks of lefty shits? Help yourself. Not me.

          1. Ironic statement considering just a couple comments down this page you are ignoring a trucker he didn’t want or need government run service plazas.

            1. Stupid statement in that neither of you should be telling me what I want.

  28. Why can’t Reason propose something to really make Interstates pop, like Alcohol, Tobbacco, and Firearms Convenience Stores, abolishing The Mann Act, and sexier “Lot Lizards?” Oh, and mile-long 3-D billboards saying “Fuck Ladybird Johnson and Lyndon too?”

  29. Here in New Hampshire, we don’t have Interstate service plazas. But we do have state liquor stores off both I-95 and I-93.

  30. “It’s also the result of long-overdue federal enforcement of driver hours-of-service regulations, which drivers can no longer evade thanks to electronic (rather than paper) logbooks.”
    Interesting perspective from a “libertarian” magazine. Yeah all kinds of federal regulations are long overdue. The HOS ELD mandate was promulgated under the Obama administration. What Mr. Poole doesn’t know or bother to reveal is that FMCSA never provided any evidence that ELDs prevent crashes. In fact when the mandate went into effect in 2018 big truck crashes increased and since then have had no known effect on safety. The mandate also greatly increased the parking shortage Mr. Poole worries about. Nobody worries if the crane operator putting a 50,000 lb. steel coil on a truck got enough sleep last night. But the guy delivering it has to bust his ass to get it delivered within the government approved HOS.
    The reality is that FMCSA’s obsession with Hours Of Service is a result of perceived incentives created by…the federal government. The vast majority of OTL drivers are paid on a 19th century piecemeal pay scheme. They are not paid by the hour or by salary. They are paid by the mile. And not odometer miles. They are paid the shortest legal miles from zip code to zip code. This is the result of the fact that that OTR carriers are exempt from the labor laws that cover virtually every other profession in the country. The incentive that Mr. Poole and the FMCSA obsess about is that truck drivers will chase miles and fall asleep at the wheel. If truck drivers were paid like everybody else that incentive would disappear. I mean who else wants to work 14 hours a day. But Mr. Poole can’t get his brain around that simple fact. Instead he imagines a world of crazy truck drivers cheating on their logs.
    Their are tens of thousands of expedite drivers on the interstate who do not hold a CDL because they don’t have to. I have a CDL. I talked to an expedite recruiter a while back. He wanted me to understand that if I did that work the HOS would not apply. “If it takes 24 hour to deliver the load, we drive straight through.” were his words. There are also millions of people of all kinds on the road the who work long hours. Maybe we should put a tracking device on them. They’d just have to put the pedal down to beat the clock like truck drivers have to do.
    I’m an owner operator truck driver. I don’t give a rat’s ass if there are restaurants at the rest areas and I don’t give a shit about some whiney 4 wheeler who has to drive an extra mile to get a cheeseburger. Thanks to ELDs the issue is parking in time to beat the clock. You live in terror that some truck driver somewhere will fall asleep and hit a school bus. If you were really serious about safety you’d advocate for removing the carrier exemptions. Problem solved.

      1. Oh, goody! Bullshit from some film in the hopes we won’t recognize the lefty shit under this handle!
        Fuck off and die.

    1. “I’m an owner operator truck driver. I don’t give a rat’s ass if there are restaurants at the rest areas and I don’t give a shit about some whiney 4 wheeler who has to drive an extra mile to get a cheeseburger.”
      And I don’t give a shit about your preferences either.

      “Thanks to ELDs the issue is parking in time to beat the clock. You live in terror that some truck driver somewhere will fall asleep and hit a school bus. If you were really serious about safety you’d advocate for removing the carrier exemptions. Problem solved.”
      Which is totally irrelevant to the issue are hand. Did you post that in the hopes of proving how stupid you are?
      You did a good job.

      1. “Interesting perspective from a “libertarian” magazine. Yeah all kinds of federal regulations are long overdue.”

        He was pointing out how owning a controlling interest in a “libertarian” publication does not make Poole’s galloping statism remotely libertarian.

        1. “He was pointing out how owning a controlling interest in a “libertarian” publication does not make Poole’s galloping statism remotely libertarian.”

          Poole’s arguing for a reduction in regulations and that equals “galloping statism”
          Is black the new white?

  31. Hmmmm.

    Once self driving cars become more ubiquitous, people could just have a coffee maker installed in their car.

    And I suppose once the self driving technology gets better, you could even just have two cars both going at EXACTLY 70 mph side by side, both open their windows, use some dumbwaiter thingy; and just have an inpromp drive through businesses right on the highway. Not, THAT would be awesome.

    1. ** “now”, not “not”

    2. When the unused Oases start collapsing from lack of repair is when things get *really* interesting.

  32. Surprised to see this pitch in Reason. The use of private property with private investment at the off-ramps seams fully able to address this problem. And I truly don’t understand why anyone would think that a partnership with a state government would provide better service than the actual market based system of gas stations, restaurants, and coffee shops along side the freeway system currently. The state-run system would be inflexible and would not be a superior alternative. Personally, I don’t even stop in the government controlled turnoffs on the toll roads I have used in the past – because the service was sup-par and they were not clean. Let markets work – let the current market ecosystem of private truck stops, gas stations & restaurants adapt to our changing needs. And I think the same goes for charging stations as we convert to electric vehicles. Why would the government do it better than private companies competing for our plugs? Already some are starting to put charging stations at restaurant hubs, or outlet malls where there is something to do for the half your walking around till your car is charged.

  33. This article belongs to be over at Vox.

    1. I disagree. The readers and commenters at Vox are stupid enough to get behind the idea. The article should be parodied by The Babylon Bee, perpetually stand as an example of progressive technocrats’ abject stupidity, and its writers mocked until they lapse into a suicidal depression or come up with better, more libertarian ideas.

      1. If you notice, a lot of the people who seemingly support this don’t live near or use many toll roads. If they did, they’d know that what you said above is true – the tollway oases are not the preferred places to stop when you’re on these roads. They’d also know that toll roads themselves, while they have some value in specific instances, are actually inefficient and unfair because everyone benefits from roads. The supermarket shelves get stocked by the truck, so the person who doesn’t even drive benefits from the road. Administering tolls requires a state bureaucracy and overhead, as opposed simply to paying for them with gas taxes. In the case of electric cars, it wouldn’t be too hard to equip them with a remote-readable odometer and send people a bill every year with their license plate renewal. Toll roads also foster less-efficient road utilization by pushing traffic onto “free” roads in cases where people don’t want to pay the toll or don’t have the “I-Pass” box because they don’t drive the road that often. This causes all road users to suffer because the non-toll roads are loaded up more heavily.

        The solution isn’t to get the government into the business of building more tollway oases and leasing out space. The solution is to transition away from toll roads to free roads, because roads benefit everyone, and then let businesses such as Starbucks or whomever buy land and build new locations where they see fit.

  34. I am guessing that the dope who wrote this has never travelled on the interstate. try interstate route 90 for example. theres plazas almost everywhere. very over priced but there.

  35. The Illinois tollway system has service areas that straddle the highways, with service stations on the sides. Even though these are Interstate highways, they were built with state bonds repaid by tolls, and maintenance is paid by the tolls.

    The problem is that as some roads are being widened to 10 lanes (5 lanes each way), engineers could not figure how to keep the existing plazas or build new ones. So, one plaza has come down on I-294 and another is coming down. The most criticism is from the towns who are losing a steady source of sales tax revenue.

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