Popular rest area closing down on weekends

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EATON TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A popular rest area in Wyoming County is now being called a nuisance. PennDOT is closing down Roadside Rest on Route 29 during weekends.

Roadside Rest near Tunkhannock is a place motorists can stop and rest before hitting the road again. Over the years people have used it as a park which has resulted in a trash problem.

“There’s been some issues, kids partying there on the weekend, breaking the lock, destroying the property, you know, ruining a good thing,” PennDOT District 4 safety press officer Michael Taluto said.

There are pictures of state and local workers cleaning up the rest area. PennDOT, the entity that maintains the grounds for Wyoming County, says the mess has escalated over the past couple of months, prompting the state agency to close the area on the weekends.

Shawn Ramey with Reeves Rent-A-John stopped by Friday to replenish soap and toilet paper. His job every week is to flush the portable bathrooms, which has been hard for him since spring.

“You name it, it’s in there! A lot of beer cans, shoes, you know, a lot of feminine products that are not properly disposed of,” Ramey said.

Ramey said his job kept getting harder each week that passed.

“It’s definitely absolutely ridiculous,” Ramey said.

PennDOT says it boils down to one thing and that’s neglect. It’s a pile of trash. The only thing that is separating it from the trashcans is about seven feet.

“We just have to hope that people take personal responsibility and do not do it anymore. It’s sad that it has to come to that,” Taluto said.

Township workers who monitor the area believe local people are not to blame. Ramey hopes PennDOT’s decision sends a message.

“A lot of people like coming here on the weekends and you know if it’s closed, maybe it will change their act,” Ramey said.

Roadside Rest will remain open during weekdays from dawn to dusk. With Labor Day being one of the busiest traveling days, PennDOT plans on opening the rest area for the holiday weekend.

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