With no apologies to the State Tourism Division, the Transportation Department says the top travel destination in Missouri is not a place to see a show … or a stuffed animal … a ball game … or go for a ride.
When you gotta go when you’re on the go … MoDOT has just the place – the rest stop.
It has nineteen places for people to stop and go, and MoDOT estimates about 24-million people do just that each year – more, says the department than, visit the Gateway Arch, the Lake of the Ozarks or Branson.
All 19 of the department’s rest stops are on interstates. Roadside Management Specialist Rand Swanigan says rest stops used to be built about an hour’s drive from each other. But since those guidelines came out in the 60s, cars go faster are more comfortable, and there are more commercial places at exits than before. So some changes are being made when new stops are being built.
But still, none are being built on the state highways, although folks who travel those roads need pit stops, too. Swanigan says motorists on the state routes just have to rely more on private businesses along the highways.
He says most people take them for granted…but they’re critical not only for personal comfort…but for highway safety because they give people a change to stop, rest, and stretch their legs, and do other things.