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Author Topic: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?  (Read 2813 times)

Brandon

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What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:51:06 PM »

What do you think of Illinois rest areas? State considering fixing up some, maybe closing others

Quote
The state of Illinois is considering how to rehab, or possibly close, some state rest areas, and has even launched a public survey about travelers’ likes and dislikes of the Interstate highway stops — drawing thousands of responses so far.

“Many of our rest areas have reached a point where it’s time to evaluate their future,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, in a statement.

I favor rehabbing them all and opening more.  We don't have enough rest areas in this state, IMHO.

Case in point...
Quote
A couple of truckers at the stop expressed concern that there were not enough parking places for them to take federally required rest breaks.

“It’s more trucks, more trucks— every year more trucks — and we need more spots,” said Peter Fornal, a truck driver out of Florida . “It’s very hard for us to find a spot and take the rest, you know.”

Can't just park trucks anywhere.

IMHO, Illinois needs rest areas at the following locations:
I-55, MP 241 (at the exit would be useful).
I-57, MP 2 (northbound welcome center would be very welcome).
I-72, MP 2 (eastbound welcome center).
I-72, MP 55.
I-72, MP 120.
I-88, MP 46 (yes, it's ISTHA, but the only place is the DeKalb Oasis at MP 93).
I-39, MP 30.
I-39, MP 117 (overlooking the Kishwaukee River gorge could be nice).
I-155, MP 17.
US-20, welcome center in East Dubuque.
US-20, near the Stephenson-Winnebago County line.
US-67, between Roseville and Swan Creek.
IL-336, between Bentley and Carthage.
US-34, welcome center in Gulfport.
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mvak36

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 02:42:31 PM »

What do you think of Illinois rest areas? State considering fixing up some, maybe closing others

Quote
The state of Illinois is considering how to rehab, or possibly close, some state rest areas, and has even launched a public survey about travelers’ likes and dislikes of the Interstate highway stops — drawing thousands of responses so far.

“Many of our rest areas have reached a point where it’s time to evaluate their future,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, in a statement.

I favor rehabbing them all and opening more.  We don't have enough rest areas in this state, IMHO.

Case in point...
Quote
A couple of truckers at the stop expressed concern that there were not enough parking places for them to take federally required rest breaks.

“It’s more trucks, more trucks— every year more trucks — and we need more spots,” said Peter Fornal, a truck driver out of Florida . “It’s very hard for us to find a spot and take the rest, you know.”

Can't just park trucks anywhere.

IMHO, Illinois needs rest areas at the following locations:
I-55, MP 241 (at the exit would be useful).
I-57, MP 2 (northbound welcome center would be very welcome).
I-72, MP 2 (eastbound welcome center).
I-72, MP 55.
I-72, MP 120.
I-88, MP 46 (yes, it's ISTHA, but the only place is the DeKalb Oasis at MP 93).
I-39, MP 30.
I-39, MP 117 (overlooking the Kishwaukee River gorge could be nice).
I-155, MP 17.
US-20, welcome center in East Dubuque.
US-20, near the Stephenson-Winnebago County line.
US-67, between Roseville and Swan Creek.
IL-336, between Bentley and Carthage.
US-34, welcome center in Gulfport.

I agree with you that they need more. I think IDiOT is looking for ways to cut down their costs.

Another solution (for trucks) is maybe if companies like Love's, etc., build more truck stops along the interstates.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 02:45:16 PM by mvak36 »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 02:48:23 PM »

Another solution (for trucks) is maybe if companies like Love's, etc., build more truck stops along the interstates.

They would...if it was profitable to them.
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kphoger

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 02:51:45 PM »

I haven't lived in Illinois since January 2007, but I don't remember anything being amiss about the state's rest areas.  Admittedly, I think all of my experience with rest areas in Illinois is from I-57, so I guess I can't necessarily comment on them statewide.  Besides having been dropped off and getting another ride at the southbound rest area near Buckley while hitchhiking one time, I frequented both the northbound and southbound Rend Lake rest areas downstate quite a bit.  The northbound rest area was a regular customer stop of mine when I drove a cleaning supply delivery route in the area.  And I often took my lunch break at the southbound one so I could park and go skinny-dipping in the lake for a few minutes and cool off (my truck had no working a/c).  They always seemed well taken care of.  I guess I did stop once at the rest area by Brookport but, for the life of me, I can't remember why; that one seemed nice too, however.
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johndoe780

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 04:26:41 PM »

Cut down on them and close a few. Some are too close to big metro areas- the one on 55 North of Springfield comes to mind. Keep the ones open that are relatively far from big metro areas open as gas stations and the like can't economically survive there.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 04:35:33 PM »

I barfed at one.
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kphoger

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 04:54:49 PM »

I barfed at one.

Good thing it was there, then, huh?  Might have been in your car otherwise.
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 05:54:43 PM »

As a general rule, I like rest areas. While they are on the side of the interstate, I often find the more-or-less parklike setting to be pleasant and calm, and a nice change from fast food restaurants and truck stops, even when the truck parking lot is full. Having a bigger building helps here, and most of Illinois's are relatively small, and as the article said, dank. So, I would, as a general rule, be okay with having fewer rest areas if the remaining ones were relatively well appointed.

Also, I did not know there was a web site about rest areas. I've been clicking around there, and it's pretty interesting.
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Revive 755

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 06:16:48 PM »

Most of them do their job, but some such as the ones on I-55 at Springfield could use updating and expansion.  I just hope they don't become similar to Missouri where it is over 100 miles between rest areas, and on some corridors such as I-44 where the congestion at interchanges with a decent number of services discourages getting off.

IMHO, Illinois needs rest areas at the following locations:
I-55, MP 241 (at the exit would be useful).

I see this exit becoming a problem to get on and off at.

I-72, MP 55.

Had been one originally proposed a little west of the Illinois River crossing.

I-88, MP 46 (yes, it's ISTHA, but the only place is the DeKalb Oasis at MP 93).

I'd rather have one in the service-light stretch between I-80 and US 30.  Though this one would be more useful if ISTHA starts charging for the ramps at IL 251 or IL 26.

I-39, MP 30.

IIRC one had been planned but killed near Wenona.  I wouldn't mind one around Mile 30 though.

US-20, near the Stephenson-Winnebago County line.

There was a tourist information center east of Freeport that acts a bit like one.
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abefroman329

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 09:24:54 AM »

Truth be told, I can't remember the last time I used one anywhere.  Usually my wife and I can make one stop for gas, snacks, and a bathroom break.
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ET21

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 09:33:13 AM »

There's a welcome center in East Dubuque??? You wouldn't know cause it's not signed at all lol
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inkyatari

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 10:13:46 AM »


I-55, MP 241 (at the exit would be useful).

I remember there being talk at one time of actually closing the exit and putting a rest area there.

Needless to say the older scummy truck stop on the NW corner of the intersection balked at that.

Quote from: Revive755
I see this exit becoming a problem to get on and off at.

There are plans to  redo that interchange yet again, so that may not be as much of an issue.  Personally, I'd put it a bit further south, but with the Illiana possibly coning in at that point, it may be a non starter.
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Brandon

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 11:06:24 AM »

There's a welcome center in East Dubuque??? You wouldn't know cause it's not signed at all lol

Read again.  It's one of my suggestions for a location.  It doesn't really exist.
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ET21

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 02:35:32 PM »

There's a welcome center in East Dubuque??? You wouldn't know cause it's not signed at all lol

Read again.  It's one of my suggestions for a location.  It doesn't really exist.

Ohhh I didn't see the title above the list  :ded:
I could see that, Iowa has one right off of 20 in downtown Dubuque.
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2trailertrucker

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 03:25:52 PM »

If Illinois would do what other states are doing, in that (Indiana for example on the toll road) have truck-only rest areas. These rest areas have no (or limited to an bathroom) features,but allow truckers to pull off for their rest.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2017, 04:06:31 PM »

If Illinois would do what other states are doing, in that (Indiana for example on the toll road) have truck-only rest areas. These rest areas have no (or limited to an bathroom) features,but allow truckers to pull off for their rest.

If you don't put a crapper there, people will go anyway.
If you don't provide trash cans, people will dump trash anyway.

People are lazy, selfish and inconsiderate so if a highway rest area doesn't provide these basic services, it will rapidly become a disgusting roadside eyesore.
Isn't that right, New Mexico?
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kphoger

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2017, 04:10:04 PM »

If Illinois would do what other states are doing, in that (Indiana for example on the toll road) have truck-only rest areas. These rest areas have no (or limited to an bathroom) features,but allow truckers to pull off for their rest.

If you don't put a crapper there, people will go anyway.
If you don't provide trash cans, people will dump trash anyway.

People are lazy, selfish and inconsiderate so if a highway rest area doesn't provide these basic services, it will rapidly become a disgusting roadside eyesore.
Isn't that right, New Mexico?

I don't think I've seen more than one truck at a time at the serviceless rest areas in Missouri and Iowa.
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cwm1276

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2017, 07:56:27 PM »

Stopped at the one on I64 coming home from Indiana last year and half of the restroom as out of order and looked like it had been that way for while.

The truck pull offs on I39 were well used before they were closed with the Paw Paw rest area opening.  I have assumed the truck pull off was to become a weight station of the state was not broke. 
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Revive 755

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2017, 09:06:38 PM »

If Illinois would do what other states are doing, in that (Indiana for example on the toll road) have truck-only rest areas. These rest areas have no (or limited to an bathroom) features,but allow truckers to pull off for their rest.

And discriminate against the passenger car driver who wants to make a brief stop to check the map or return a phone call.    I much prefer the parking only rest areas that Iowa has along I-80 between Council Bluffs and Des Moines that allow more than trucks to stop.
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2017, 11:53:20 PM »

They generally seem fairly clean and nice compared to Indiana's rest areas. The ones near Fort Wayne on 69 as well as the Michigan City one have just the stinkiest bathrooms. They literally have this awful stink coming from the structure itself, not any recent bathroom activity. Michigan's are only slightly better, all there seems to be is nothing but Dr. Pepper in the vending machines in the one around Kalamazoo. On the other hand, the Farmer City rest area on Illinois I-74 is spotless, and smells fresh. A whole bank of vending machines, even has a nice handy weather radar map on a monitor. Handy to see if I am about to hit any thunderstorms or snow ahead.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 11:56:08 PM by captkirk_4 »
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kphoger

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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 11:32:17 AM »

The truck pull offs on I39 were well used before they were closed with the Paw Paw rest area opening.  I have assumed the truck pull off was to become a weight station of the state was not broke. 

Wow, that was totally not making sense until I realized there's a Paw Paw in Illinois.  The only town by that name I was familiar with is in Michigan, where I once stayed the night while hitchhiking through Michigan.  I was trying to figure out how pull-offs on I-39 would be affected by a rest area on I-94 near Kalamazoo...
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2017, 11:23:29 PM »

The only thing I think of them is the foolish signs they post parking for the rest area only. Sure like someone is going to park there and walk miles over corn fields to visit a friends house.
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2017, 02:14:11 AM »

Another solution (for trucks) is maybe if companies like Love's, etc., build more truck stops along the interstates.

They would...if it was profitable to them.

Tossing an idea out for discussion.  :hmmm: Lengthy toll highways have gas station/ restaurant amenities accessible without exiting the toll roads. Illinois refers to them as oases. Why don't these exist on interstates?

Illinois could build the on/off ramps and lease the land (they might need to procure it first). Illinois makes certain minimum requirements so it's not just a business, e.g., picnic areas and truck parking. Illinois gets income instead of paying for a rest area. Businesses get best access to drivers.

Thoughts?
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2017, 05:02:15 AM »

on-road business was banned on Interstates by federal law 23 U.S.C. § 111.  the toll road service areas were grandfathered in. Some states banned them further on other roads.
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Re: What do you think of Illinois rest areas?
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2017, 06:34:42 AM »

And length has nothing to do with it.  The Delaware Turnpike, 11 miles in length, has a service area with restaurants and fuel.  The 44 mile Atlantic City Expressway has 2 service areas.

Convenient?  Yes.  However, more expensive than off-highway facilities?  Yes.  And as Scott mentioned, they're banned anyway.  NY has built mini-convenience stores in some of their rest stops and they are currently in a fight with the feds about that right now.  Don't be surprised if the feds eventually stop providing NY State with all of their federal transportation funds.
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