from a Long Island neighborhood are fighting plans by the New
York State Transportation Department to modernize and enlarge
a nearby rest area used by truckers. Residents cite health concerns
and crime as their primary reason for protests.
whose homes border the Long Island Expressway (I-495) near Exit
52 believe the rest area should be moved somewhere more appropriate.
"The DOT wants to build this at the expense of the people
who live here," one angry resident recently told news reporters.
"Truckstops don't belong in a residential community."
say, 'How can you put this in a residential neighborhood?'"
DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters says. "But this isn't some
two-lane country road. This is the Long Island Expressway where
almost 200,000 vehicles go by daily. If this isn't a commercial
area, what is it?"
has proposed a sound barrier and retaining wall to further shield
the community from the rest area and expressway. But, homeowners
say they are unsatisfied by the proposal, indicating they will
continue to fight until the rest area is moved elsewhere.
says it still is planning to keep the eastbound rest area open.
Plans are to upgrade restroom facilities and add about 27 designated
truck parking slots. Currently, the rest area doesn't have any
designated spots for truck parking, says Peters.
month, a motorist was killed after rear-ending a semi parked on
the shoulder outside the rest area. The trucker was parked there
because the rest stop was filled.
need to have a safe harbor to pull off the expressway," Peters
says. "They are just squeezing in right now."
NYDOT's efforts, trucker and OOIDA member Scott L. Roth of East
Setauket, NY, says the handful of parking spots proposed by the
NYDOT won't solve the parking shortage on the expressway. "I
live on Long Island, so it really doesn't affect me because I'm
close to home anyway, but I feel for the out-of-state guys. Long
Island doesn't have any major truckstops and only a few diesel
fuel stops with little or no parking. It's a shame."
At this time,
Peters says there are no other projects proposed to build additional
truck parking on Long Island, but she encourages truckers to call
the NYDOT at (631) 952-6633 to share their parking concerns and