Monday, July 20, 2009
Good has a really interesting article about the rise and fall of the interstate rest stop. It wasn't too long ago that states used rest stops to tell travelers what was interesting about them, "to make their pitch that Virginia is for lovers, " etc. They were used as a sort of "toilet as ambassador".
But now traditional rest stops (toilets, state propaganda, vending machines and picnic tables) are being closed as state budgets tighten, and chain restaurants and gas stations take over the highways and biways.
Something is gained (ever had vending machine coffee?) but something is surely lost as these places lose their unique character (it seems unlikely Starbucks will have teepee shaped shops in Oklahoma) and everything looks the same.
check out the whole article, and see more photos here.