Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Safety Rest Areas & Waysides

 

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Governances - laws, policies and common practices

Newspaper and publication distribution through newsracks

MnDOT will accept applications to distribute publications through newsracks on an annual basis from March 1 through April 15. Annual permits expire each year on May 15. Applicants may submit only one application per publication per rest area. MnDOT will issue up to 8 newsrack permits per rest area. Apply in accordance with MnDOT Policy OP003 and related Application Form (PDF). Note that the electronic policy file and application form are only viewable with an Internet Explorer browser, but you can request to have the policy and application emailed or mailed to you.

Refreshment breaks and other permitted activities

MnDOT will consider for permit requests to engage in activities that provide for the safety and convenience of the traveling public through opportunities for rest, parking, travel information, and related actions that facilitate safe and convenient travel by motor vehicle. Activities must not interfere with the normal use of the rest area facilities by the public, and activities must be provided free of charge.

Examples of permissible activities include: providing coffee or windshield washing at no charge, and distribution of “See Motorcycles” bumper stickers. Examples of impermissible activities include: weddings, worship services, political events, geocaching, hunting, posting of signs or posters, and distribution or exhibition of obscene materials.

Send requests in accordance with MnDOT Policy OP003.

Brochure distribution

Minnesota distributes brochures of interest to the traveling public at the following travel information centers.

  • Albert Lea Travel Information Center
  • Thompson Hill Travel Information Center
  • St. Croix Travel Information Center
  • Moorhead Travel Information Center
  • Dresbach Travel Information Center
  • Beavercreek Travel Information Center
  • Central Minnesota Travel Information Center
  • Fisher’s Landing Travel Information Center
  • Worthington Travel Information Center

Explore Minnesota Tourism manages brochure distribution at these centers through policy. For more information contact Julie Ramer, Travel Information Centers Network Supervisor.

Visitor length of stay limits

Commercial motor vehicle operators subject to hours of service regulations under 49 CFR 395 may stop and park continuously, for a period of up to ten hours as necessary to comply with the hours of service regulations, at any MnDOT safety rest area or travel information center that has parking stalls designed to accommodate a commercial motor vehicle. See MN Statutes § 160.272. All other motorists are permitted to stop at rest areas for up to six hours at a time. See Commissioner's Memorandum No. 108 (PDF).

Overnight camping

Overnight camping, tenting and parking is prohibited at rest areas, except for two sites noted in the Commissioner's Memorandum No. 108 (PDF).

Placing memorial markers

In mid-December 2004, the MnDOT Operation Advisory Group determined that because rest areas are part of the right-of-way, MnDOT Maintenance Bulletin No. 04-2 (PDF) applies with regard to the placement of impromptu memorial markers at rest areas. These guidelines will not permit the placement of impromptu memorial markers at rest areas. However, MnDOT may permit memorials that are an integral part of a motorist service or amenity that directly supports a rest area purpose. Examples of amenities that support rest area functions include installation of interpretive exhibits or development of a walking trail for rest area users.

Flying of flags

By common practice, MnDOT flies the US flag and Minnesota state flag at rest areas that feature flagpoles. At rest areas with two or flagpoles, MnDOT may fly the POW/MIA flag.

Guidelines:

  • Do not fly any other flag or pennant above the US flag. If on the same level, fly other flag to the left of the US flag as viewed from the rest area parking lot.
  • Do not exceed two flags per pole
  • Fly the POW/MIA flag on the same pole as the US flag when State and US flags are on two separate poles
  • Fly the US flag in the center and highest point in a group of flags displayed on poles
  • Do not fly flag larger than the US flag in the same group
  • Display flags from sunrise to sunset or light continuously overnight
  • Do not display the flags during heavy rain storms or strong winds. Raise flag when these conditions subside.
  • Hoist the US Flag first and lower last when flown with group of flags
  • Hoist the flags briskly and lower them ceremoniously. Do not let the flag touch the ground or floor.
  • Fly the POW/MIA flag below the lowest flag when the US or State flag is flown at half-staff

Missing children flyers

As proposed by the MnDOT Operations Policy Committee, MnDOT allows the posting of missing children flyers (PDF) in rest areas under the following conditions.

Guidelines:

  • Missing persons only; no other postings
  • Children only (under 18 at time of disappearance)

Distribution:

  • All rest areas having bulletin boards
  • Posters only; no handouts or mailings
  • Size 8 1/2 x 11 only

Time limits:

  • Post for 6 months from the date of request

Other laws and regulations

State laws

Code of Federal Regulations

United States Code