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Truckers to Protest New York Plan to Ban Trucks on Some Highways
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 00:00

A coalition of business groups, including two trucking organizations, has organized a convoy of dozens of trucks scheduled to drive past the New York state capitol in Albany shortly before noon today.

The coalition, which includes the Business Council of New York, the New York State Motor Truck Association, and a grassroots organization called Truckers and Citizens United of New York, are holding the convoy and press conference to protest Gov. David Paterson's plan to close major highways in upstate New York to trucks. The convoy and press conference are scheduled for the same time Paterson will be giving his State of the State speech at the capitol.

"It makes no sense for the state of New York to be erecting barriers to the free flow of commerce on its roadways," says Kendra Adams, executive director of the New York State Motor Truck Association. "This policy will kill jobs and drive up cost for all consumers."

At issue is a new state Department of Transportation policy to restrict truck traffic on seven major highways in the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions. Proponents of the plan say each day, nonlocal trucks, many hauling municipal garbage, leave the interstates and cut through towns across the Finger Lakes and Central New York region. Instead, they say, trucks should stay on the National Network of highways, primarily the Interstate highway system, because it's designed to accommodate the long distance movement of people and goods between cities and rural areas.

Truckers say the restrictions, which are scheduled to take effect later this year, will force them to drive hundreds of extra miles and significantly increase transportation costs for regional businesses. The seven state highways affected are:

  • Route 41 in Cortland and Onondaga counties;
  • Route 41A in Cortland, Cayuga and Onondaga counties;
  • Route 90 in Cortland and Cayuga counties;
  • Route 38 in Cayuga County;
  • Route 79 in Broome, Tioga, and Tompkins counties;
  • Route 89 in Tompkins and Seneca counties;
  • Route 96 in Tompkins and Seneca counties.

A study last year by the non-partisan Capitol Hill Research Center based in Albany, found that that the agriculture, wood products, retail and trucking industries would be especially hard hit by the plan.

Other business groups scheduled to speak at the press conference include the New York Association of Convenience Stores, the New York Farm Bureau, and the National Federation of Independent Business.

For more information on the new truck policy, visit the New York State DOT web site at www.nysdot.gov/programs/truckpolicy.

TruckingInfo.com, 1/6/2010