Officials add 10 driver information signs to New York State Thruway

| 5/26/2006

The New York State Thruway Authority is making a pricey upgrade to its roadside information system, while lawmakers and protesters continue to debate the Authority’s income and spending practices.

In an effort to give more timely information to motorists traveling along the Thruway, the Authority announced Wednesday, May 24, that it has invested approximately $340,000 on an additional 10 portable electronic messaging signs that have been installed at strategic locations.

The initiative was expedited to accommodate the heavy flow of traffic during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

According to a Thruway press release, the signs – which are capable of displaying traffic and road conditions – will be positioned at sites based on customer response, and have the potential to impact 330,000 motorists daily.

The Thruway Authority has been under fire in recent months from lawmakers and businessmen in the Buffalo area, claiming two toll booths in their town place an economic burden on the city’s development.

State Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, claims the booths – the only two toll plazas on the 641-mile system that restrict access to a city – are discriminatory, and do not earn enough revenue to warrant their upkeep.

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer