When we're in the motorhome, we don't often travel on the major 4 lane highways. Usually, we're not in that much of a rush, and we enjoy the scenery and the slower pace of the secondary back roads. But during our recent road trip to Nova Scotia, we used secondary roads while going there, and the main 4 lane highways coming back.
Even the secondary roads have serviced rest stops through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. They are a place to pull over, walk the dog, and take a bathroom break. No stores, no gas...just somewhere to rest. Most are even open all winter long, although some only have outhouses or go-hut type of facilities. Most of the ones along the Interstate highways even have free wi-fi internet access!
Quebec has some decent rest stops on the main 4 lane highway between Montreal, Quebec City, and Riviere du Loup. They're well spaced out and lots of room. No need for McDonald's or Tim Horton's...just a place to take a break. I'm not one to give any credit to Quebec, but they've done well in this area. That, and the fact that they sell beer in corner stores, but that's a story for another day!
But Ontario is simply embarrassing.
The (very few) secondary rest stops in Ontario are all closed throughout the winter. What, the government thinks people don't travel during the winter?
But worse, in late September 2009, the government closed all the rest stops along Highway 401. This is the main 4 lane highway between Toronto and Montreal. Their story was that these rest stops were all built in the 1960's and needed upgrading. They said that the closures were temporary and that new rest stops would open within 5 years! They said that temporary washrooms and parking would be made available depending on the various stages of construction.
But instead, they closed them ALL at the end of September, blocked the access to the parking areas, and closed the buildings down. It's totally ridiculous.
I sent an email today to the Minister in charge of transportation in Ontario. This has got to be one of the stupidest moves the government has ever made in Ontario.