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Local Politicians lobby for truck traffic laws

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I--Pulaski) this week met with the Upstate New York Safety Coalition Task Force--a group of residents, public safety officers and public officials, who live in and around the Finger Lakes Region who are concerned about large haulers driving on small, residential roads and highways. The group traveled to Albany to lobby for laws that would create safer highways this week.

Barclay is the sponsor of legislation that would designate the State Department of Transportation as the agency responsible for finding suitable routes for trucks that carry hazardous materials, including municipal solid waste throughout the state (A-9395). Barclay is also the sponsor of legislation that would ban oversized trucks from certain portions of public highways in both Onondaga and Cortland counties (A-3737).

"This task force has been active and organized and I'm happy to work with them to find solutions that will make their homes and communities safer," said Barclay. "Trucks that carry hazardous materials pose a threat to the invaluable resources Skaneateles Lake provides. Spills, such as large haulers having accidents and dumping waste into the lake, which has happened in the past, are dangerous and threaten our drinking water supply."

"We're looking for solutions that will work for everyone involved and this has taken coordination and input from trucking companies, municipalities, residents and other local and state lawmakers," Barclay added.

Barclay has investigated several options since the task force formed, including eliminating the mileage tax for truckers, eliminating the Thruway tolls for truckers, exploring the cost of hauling garbage by barge and designating routes in New York City haulers' contracts. All have been met with either legal or logistical opposition. However, the two aforementioned bills seem the most viable options for the state, towns and residents.

Sen. John DeFrancisco has also sponsored these same bills in the Senate. Many trucks haul garbage to Seneca Meadow Landfill, located in Seneca County, all the way from New York City, to save money on tipping fees. Others from the area on the way to Seneca Meadow Landfill cut through the small villages and hamlets to save time and money.

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