The residents and business owners of Ohio’s Hocking County know a bad idea when they see it.
The Ohio Department of Transportation held a public meeting at the Hocking College Energy Institute early this week to discuss its plan to explore the commercial development of certain rest areas.
Citizens and business owners reportedly expressed strong criticism of the plan, including its impact on tourism, local business, the environment and traffic.
According to an article that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch, meeting attendees are especially worried that shops and restaurants at the rest stops could hurt nearby businesses.
Furthermore, Executive Director of Hocking Hills Tourism Association Karen Raymore said commercializing the rest areas would be extremely detrimental to the visitors, according to an article published on NPR.
The irony is, ODOT doesn’t seem to care what its residents have to say.
Despite claims that ODOT plans to listen to all concerns as its holds a series of public meetings statewide, officials plan to hold a meeting June 28 in Columbus to accept bids from possible businesses to operate commercial rest areas.
The people of Ohio have spoken and they don’t want commercial rest areas.
ODOT should listen to what its voting constituents have to say and act accordingly.