Thursday, February 11, 2010

Patterson bill to keep rest areas open passes

Closed rest area on a busy Arizona highway

UPDATE, Feb 18: New story in Arizona Republic.

UPDATE, Feb 12: Patterson releases statement on rest areas after news release from Brewer. Other coverage on HB2645 from KTAR, KOLD, blog RRR and Yuma Sun.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- A bill that helps keep Arizona’s rest areas open passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today with unanimous bipartisan support.

House Bill 2645, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (District 29), and co-sponsored by 47 others, allows the Arizona Department of Transportation to enter into agreements with local governments such as cities, counties and tribes and other private entities, including non-profits, to maintain the rest stops.

“Keeping rest areas open and our highways safe will continue to promote out-of-state commerce and tourism into Arizona,” Patterson said. “Rest areas are crucial tools in ensuring that our highways remain safe for those traveling in and out of our state. These stops provide weary drivers with a place to rest, stretch and regain alertness for their journey ahead. Budget cuts should not come at the expense of personal safety, and this bill helps make sure that it won’t.”

Since November, the state has closed 13 of 18 rest areas due to budget cuts.

More information on closures and for a map of the state’s rest areas. Also watch this video about why open rest areas matter.

- adapted from House Dems PIO

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