Double Trucks’ Fares on the New NY Bridge

Instead of discounting trucks that will cross the new bridge between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., I suggest they pay double fares from the get go. How will allowing trucks a free ride ease traffic if there’s an accident at 4:30 a.m., or at any hour?

June 2011 Thruway accident details and photo credit: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/gallery?id=8187201&photo=1

June 2011 Thruway accident details and photo credit: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/gallery?id=8187201&photo=1

Nyack resident Michael Bookman claims, “Fewer trucks on the highways and bridges during the day means reduced congestion, which means reduced emissions and people getting to work faster, which means increased economic productivity.”

Not if they’re speeding. Some do, and at way more than 65 miles per hour. While Thruway speed limit is that north of here, we’re talking about Westchester and Rockland Counties. Connected by the Tappan Zee Bridge. In sometimes-hazardous conditions due to weather.

How many times have you been on I-287 in the fast lane, and a truck speeds past you in the middle lane? C’mon. It happens, often.

Per the Thruway Fact Book: “The Thruway is a vital commercial link for New York’s largest cities and for the entire Northeast. About one-third of all vehicles using the Thruway are from out of state.”

AND

“The Thruway is strictly a user-supported System. Only those who travel the Thruway pay for it. The Thruway Authority receives no State tax dollars and is therefore dependent on toll revenues to operate, maintain and police its roads and bridges. These revenues also allow the Thruway Authority to provide a superior level of maintenance with its Snow-And-Ice Control Program.”

It’s not new news. The state needs to find alternate sources of revenue (translated: new money) to pay for this bridge. I’ve attended the past year’s Mass Transit Task Force meetings (open to the public) and heard nothing about commercial vehicles using the bridge.

“In Westchester County, the Thruway connects the Connecticut Turnpike at the terminus of its New England Section (I-95) in Port Chester. In Rockland County, Interstate 287 near Suffern connects with major highways in New Jersey, including the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey-New York line in Chestnut Ridge (although no trucks are allowed on the GSP in NJ).”

No free rides for trucks. Especially for out-of-state trucks.

I’m glad Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested giving local residents a fare break, whether or not they commute daily. And while the 45% toll hike for trucks won’t happen on the 570-mile Thruway, I feel commercial vehicles deserve to pay more – at least on the new bridge.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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