Dawn Eischen has asked me to thank you for and reply to your email regarding Geocaching at Virginia’s Safety Rest Areas. Below you will find responses to your questions:
1. We understand why caches placed on guardrails and busy roads were banned for safety reasons, but why would a cache be banned on public property meant for travelers to stop and rest on their travels?
Virginia Administrative Code 24 VAC 30-50-10 provides that the ground and other objects are not to be disturbed. Safety Rest Areas are a component of Virginia’s transportation infrastructure and exist to serve interstate travelers by offering safe, convenient, places to rest. Unmonitored excavation can cause damage to grounds, utilities, and create trip/fall hazards at these high visitation pedestrian facilities. As interstate facilities Safety Rest Areas were not purposed to allow the public to dig or abandon property on-site.
2. Who or what committee in VDOT is writing these rules for geocachers and what is their contact information?
The rules are not specific to geocachers but are intended to protect public welfare, as well as Safety Rest Area property, and help ensure the sites remain safe, open, and operable for their intended purpose.
3. The Central Virginia Geocaching has worked carefully with other state agencies like to Virginia State Parks to allow carefully controlled placement of geocaches. Would VDOT be receptive to establishing a similar program?
At this time VDOT does not intend to enable geocaching activities at Safety Rest Areas.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any further questions regarding safety rest areas please feel to contact me directly by telephone at 804-786-0785 or by email atMartin.Krebs@vdot.virginia.gov .
Martin Krebs, C.P.M.
Safety Rest Area Program Manager
VDOT, Maintenance Division