In 2012 the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1591, which gave OTE authority over rest areas at Tillamook and Government Camp, and five additional locations along I-84.
On March 1, 2014, OTE implemented the next phase of SB 1591 under an amended inter-agency agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Under the agreement, OTE assumed responsibility for nine additional I-5 and I-84 rest areas. As of March 2014, OTE manages a total of 29 rest areas stretching from the California border to our eastern neighbors in Idaho.
OTE bases its rest area management on the needs of the motorist, as well as the communities which exist nearby. We collaborate with community leaders, industry partners, and regional businesses to provide the very best motoring experience possible. From the volunteer free coffee program to safe and clean restrooms, Oregon Travel Experience highway safety rest areas have become models for the west coast.
Currently (2013 – 2014), Oregon Travel Experience manages rest areas at the following locations:
Taking pride in a job well done
The presence of Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) rest area teams has made a remarkable difference for travelers. Staff have been on duty to help motorists with car repairs, provided enough fuel to get them to the closest gas station, and coordinate incident response services with law enforcement, ODOT, and emergency teams to incidents along the Interstate.
If you stop at an OTE managed rest area, you can count on it being clean and safe. If it isn’t, we haven’t lived up to our promise, and we want to hear about it.
Have you recently visited an OTE managed rest area? We’d like to get your feedback from our onsite customer comment cards. The comment cards ask you to rate the cleanliness, friendliness and attitude of our employees, and safety and security at each of our rest area locations. Cards are collected daily, and the information is sent to our Salem office for review. If you’ve noted that your experience was less than desirable, we will contact you (make sure to leave an email address or phone number) to find out what the problem was. Thanks to our customers, we have been able to resolve many issues such as increasing certain supplies or finding out what the public would like to see improved. Keep those cards coming–they really work.
For the past several years, OTE has encouraged rest area visitors to use comment cards located within each of our managed rest area sites. For the most part, these “postcards” have been filled out with pens and pencils and then placed within collection boxes. Much like an old fashioned mail-delivery system, the cards were collected daily by rest area staff and the results tabulated in Salem.
On Monday, March 10th, rest area visitors may notice some rather large bright red signs appearing at several of our sites. In a pilot project, OTE is implementing an electronic and mobile version of the old comment card system. Visitors will be asked to weigh in with opinions on cleanliness, safety, security, and travel information.
The e-survey platform that OTE will use was developed by Matthew Selby of the Oregon company, Opionator. Opionator has worked with other transportation and tourism agencies to install e-surveys in highway safety rest areas and visitor centers.
All rest area visitors are encouraged to scan the QR tag on the posters and connect to a brief survey. Motorists and truckers may also use their mobile device to text or telephone their opinions and concerns.
OTE staff will analyze the data and determine which rest areas may be in line for improvements in both services and cleanliness.
If you stop at any of the following locations (listed below) during the next three months, be sure to let us know how you feel.
Make sure to check out some of our true life rest area heroes and their compelling stories in the newsletter section. Our employee blog, “Roadways and Waysides” often has the latest news from individual rest areas. Learn more about our rest area supervisory staff on our about us pages.
The Rest Area “Free Coffee” Program is a service sponsored by nonprofit organizations in the interest of public safety. Stop at one of our rest areas and get a cup. Visit with our knowledgeable volunteers; you’ll often learn things about the surrounding community you wouldn’t know otherwise.
For a monthly schedule of volunteer groups at OTE locations, and their individual hours of operation, please link to the “find out more” page below, and scroll down the page to the “calendar” section.
Establishing community involvement in our managed rest areas is part of our overarching mission and mandate; we help strengthen the regional economic infrastructure in nearby communities by directing motorists to essential services and regional attractions.
Local businesses secure space at our information centers located within rest areas or on back-lit display panels within travel plazas such as the Woodburn Company Stores. Brochure rack space is allocated to numerous locations off the main highway that feature comfortable places to sleep and eat, or fun places to shop while traveling.
Our coalitions have also become a statewide model for problem solving. We don’t shirk from the tough issues and our French Prairie story is one that captured the “what’s possible” spirit from law enforcement, social service agencies and the Clackamas District Attorney’s Office. This model is now being reviewed in order to solve the unique challenges in the Grants Pass, Manzanita rest area.
Oregon Travel Experience operates 13 travel information centers along Oregon’s most heavily used highways. Our info centers provide literally millions of travelers with valuable information while inspiring them to make the most of their Oregon experience.
Motorists will find illuminated panel displays from area hotels, restaurants, wineries, golf courses, museums and other attractions. In addition, most centers offer brochure racks which can be combined with a back-lit panel or stand separately. Info centers host special poster displays for local convention and visitors bureaus or Chambers of Commerce.
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