The comment period is scheduled to end Friday, Jan. 8, on the New York State Department of Transportation’s proposed regulation to ban heavy trucks from seven key routes in the Finger Lakes region. Meanwhile, the newly printed 2010 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Atlas already shows these routes as being restricted.
Mike Joyce, director of legislative affairs, told Land Line recently that he started receiving phone calls from OOIDA members in mid-December 2009 after they purchased their new 2010 Rand McNally atlases, asking him if they had “missed something” and the regulation had been enacted.
“I assured them that this regulation is not official and that somebody is jumping the gun here,” Joyce said.
Rand McNally’s Director of Marketing Amy Krouse confirmed on Dec. 22, 2009, that their 2010 printed atlas does indeed show these routes as restricted. She told Land Line the company’s research team received their information directly from New York state’s permitting department.
“At the time files were released to go to press on the 2010 edition, the New York Permit organization listed this restriction as effective Nov. 15, 2008, and it was therefore included in our printed Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas,” Krouse said.
“We are currently in the process of evaluating routes for our 2011 edition, and we will make a change to the map files if needed,” she said.
For more than a year and a half, OOIDA and other groups have been urging the state DOT to abandon their plan of restricting large-truck traffic on state roads in the Finger Lakes region.
Joyce said the state DOT is pushing to restrict trucks on certain state roads because some residents in the Finger Lakes region don’t find trucks “aesthetically pleasing.”
However, he added that it couldn’t be a worse economic time for small-business truckers if they are forced to route around these state roads as toll prices on the New York Thruway have gone up, along with fuel prices and operating costs.
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer