New York City-area oversize truck barriers bill moves to governor

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, July 01, 2016

Access for oversized commercial vehicles in one New York City-area county is the subject of a bill headed to the governor’s desk.

The Assembly voted 110-21 to advance a bill to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk that is intended to prevent oversized commercial vehicles from entering certain parkways in Westchester County. Senate lawmakers already approved the bill – S5774.

If signed into law, the New York State Department of Transportation would be directed to study and determine which entrances to “special parkways” in Westchester County are used most frequently by commercial vehicles. Within one year of making the determination, the agency would be responsible for installing physical barriers to prevent or otherwise hinder vehicles that exceed bridge clearance heights from accessing such limited-access roads.

Parkways affected:

  • The Hutchinson River Parkway from the New York City line to the Connecticut line;
  • The Saw Mill River Parkway from the New York City line to Interstate 684;
  • The Cross County Parkway connecting the Saw Mill River and Hutchinson River parkways;
  • The Taconic State Parkway from the Kensico Circle to the Westchester-Putnam line; and
  • The Sprain Brook Parkway from the Bronx River Parkway near Dewitt Avenue at Bronxville to the Taconic State Parkway at Hawthorne interchange.

Westchester County police statistics show that commercial vehicles access passenger-vehicle only parkways 700 to 850 times annually in recent years. In addition, the Village of Rye Brook Police statistics show that during a one-year period there were 13 reports of commercial vehicles either striking the King Street overpass or traveling on the Hutchinson River Parkway.

Sen. Terrence Murphy, R-Yorktown, wrote in a bill memo that although the state DOT has taken measures to reduce the incidence of commercial vehicles on parkways the problem still remains.

“The installation of truck barriers proposed by this legislation would reduce accidents and hazards to motorists,” Murphy wrote.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New York, click here.

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