Finding a place to stop and go along Manitoba's highways may soon be a bit more challenging.
provincial government is considering whether to close some highway rest
areas where toilets are freely available during tourist season. Drivers
seeking a restroom, or simply a place to pull off and rest, would have
to go to a gas station or other private business.
Minister Ron Schuler says a review is already underway for the Pine
Grove rest area — the only one between Winnipeg and the Ontario boundary
on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The sewage lagoon needs an extensive overhaul, which Schuler said could cost up to $1.6 million.
would point out, 20 kilometres either direction there are gas stations
with food bars, where you can get out, stretch your legs, you can get a
coffee and a doughnut if you want and buy a sandwich or powder your
nose … whatever you want," Schuler said.
Some business owners
don't want truck drivers stopping on their property and many have signs
saying bathrooms are for paying customers only, said truck driver Dave
Many drivers also use the stop as a place to sleep,
and without it, they may be forced to pull over to the side of the road
or into some other parking lot, creating a safety hazard or risking a
ticket, Redl said.
"If they want to make Manitoba highways safer
and not just for truckers too, (but) for car drivers and campers … they
need to start adding rest areas," he said.
petition has been launched to save the Pine Grove rest area, and several
hundred people had signed it within a few hours.
The rest area
"gives people a place to stop without being obligated to buy anything,"
said Wayne Lovenuk, who has operated a food truck at the Pine Grove rest
area for most of the last two decades.
The Trans-Canada Highway
is busy on summer weekends with Manitobans who go to cottages in
northwestern Ontario, and rest areas are much better than private
businesses for sports teams and other large groups that travel together,
Schuler did not specify what other rest areas
might be eyed for closure. He said it would depend on whether there are
private businesses nearby.
"People are gravitating more toward those places to stop where you can get more service," he said.
Progressive Conservative government has been trying to keep a tight
leash on spending to cut a half-billion-dollar provincial deficit. The
Tories have promised to balance the budget by 2024.
Source of article click here : CBC NEWS