Coalition plans to counter proposed truck ban in upstate NY

| 8/11/2009

For more than a year, OOIDA and its New York members – along with other trucking, manufacturing and agricultural groups – have been fighting a proposed regulation that would ban heavy trucks from seven key routes in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. Gov. David Paterson, however, is moving forward with the ban.

Mike Joyce, director of legislative affairs in OOIDA’s DC office, recently received word that the governor’s office has “signed off” on the proposed regulation. This means that the proposed rule should appear on the New York State’s Register in the next two to three weeks,which will then trigger a 45-day comment period.

“We’re going to continue dialogue with the New York State Department of Transportation and the governor’s office,” Joyce told Land Line on Friday, Aug. 7. “We still believe very firmly that this regulation will inhibit continued economic recovery for the state of New York because it creates another government regulation that impedes economic growth.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, some of the groups opposed to the truck restriction regulation, including OOIDA and the New York State Motor Truck Association, will meet to discuss the opposition’s “next steps” to counter the governor’s decision to move forward with the ban. The NYSMTA organized the meeting, which will be hosted by the New York Forestry Resource Center in Rensselaer, NY.

OOIDA Life Member Lou Esposito of Duanesburg, NY, said he plans to be at that meeting on Wednesday to ensure that the financial interests of small-business truckers who use these routes are represented as well.

Esposito uses these state routes frequently to avoid paying additional toll fees on the New York State Thruway. He said that Gov. Paterson’s decision to sign off on this plan couldn’t come at a worse time for small-business truckers.

“The economy here in New York state is already dying, and then the governor goes and does something like this. It just doesn’t make sense to me,” Esposito told Land Line on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

The NYSDOT, which proposed the regulation, estimates its plan could cost truckers an additional $10 million per year in additional fuel, toll and operating costs if truckers are forced off these secondary roads and on to the New York State Thruway.

While the original intent was geared toward restricting trash truck traffic on these particular routes in the Finger Lakes region, the ban would apply to all commercial trucks that use these roads.

Here are the seven routes that will be affected by the ban:

  • 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; and
  • Route 96 in Tompkins and Seneca counties.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer