Comment period begins on proposed truck ban in upstate NY

| 8/27/2009

Small-business truckers who haul freight through upstate New York were dealt a harsh blow on Wednesday, Aug. 26, as the New York Department of Transportation’s proposed regulation to ban trucks from seven key routes in the Finger Lakes region was published in the New York State’s Register.

The posting on the Register triggers a 45-day public comment period, which ends on Friday, Oct. 9.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will be providing comments opposing the truck ban, and is encouraging its nearly 3,500 New York members to provide comments to the NYSDOT and the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform on how this proposed regulation could negatively affect their trucking businesses.

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.

A coalition, made up of the trucking community as well as businesses that depend on trucks to move their products, has been established to fight the proposed rule.

While some residents have argued that the truck ban is necessary to “protect their sense of environmental quality,” small-business truckers who live in the Finger Lakes region say they are concerned about the economic impact this regulation could have if they are forced to route around these roads. If truckers are forced to stick to the New York State Thruway, their operating costs will increase dramatically in fuel and toll costs.

While the effort to ban trucks was originally aimed at reducing the number of trash trucks who use these routes, the ban would apply to all trucks that use these roads.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer