Truckers and Citizens Unite to hold protest in Skaneateles

A convoy of more than 200 trucks is preparing to drive through Skaneateles on Black Friday, a day traditionally reserved for getting up before dawn to hit the stores for Christmas sales. It is also the day that the Dickens Christmas festival begins each year in the business district in the small village.

"We're not going to be pushed around anymore," said Bill Sutton, state director for Truckers and Citizens United on New York. "We're going to stand up for our rights."

Beginning at the Petro at exit 41 on the New York State Thruway, the trucks are planning to bring the convoy through Auburn and into Skaneateles on Nov. 28, said Sutton, of Batavia.

What has the truck drivers up in arms are the proposed regulations for Skaneateles to limit where long haul trucks are allowed to drive, an issue stemming from municipal waste vehicles that traveled the roads from New York City and New Jersey en route to upstate landfills.

"It's going to eliminate, specifically the municipal waste haulers" from getting off the interstate at the Homer exit, said Mayor Robert Green. He added that the New York State Department of Transportation regulations would be prohibiting those vehicles from traveling through the small village.

Long haul trucks, or tractor-trailers, would also be affected by the proposed regulations that are in the works by not allowing them to travel state Route 20.

"If they're long haul trucks they should be on the interstate," Green said.

However, Charlie Claburn, the regional director for Truckers and Citizens Unite, said with the cost to travel in New York state, between the Highway Use Fee, which is generally supposed to go to the state to help with maintenance on the roads traveled, a per ton fee for the weight of the trucks and working in a state with one of the highest fuel taxes, to take different routes, such at Route 20, to get to their destination is cheaper and a shorter distance for them to travel.

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