Small business owners will soon be banned from driving Onondaga Lake Parkway
Thu, 01 Dec 2011 04:23:42 GMT —
Dan Turo owns a small grocery delivery business called Road Runner Shopping Services, and he drives on the Onondaga Lake Parkway multiple times a day.
His van can clear the low railroad bridge, with room to spare, but because of his commercial license plates he will soon be banned from the road.
"I just can't understand it," said Turo.
Right now, signs are up on the parkway alerting drivers that the ban on commercial vehicles goes into effect December 9th.
The DOT is enforcing it after the fatal Megabus crash in September of 2010, which killed four people and injured dozens of others. Transportation officials say the decision breaks down to safety.
"Prohibiting commercial vehicles from Onondaga Lake Parkway helps keep over-height vehicles off the parkway, ensuring that they don't accidentally strike the low railroad bridge over the highway," said NYS DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. "This restriction, in combination with other recent safety enhancements, makes travel safer for all Parkway motorists."
But Turo says the ban is too broad, and is worried it will drive down his business. "In the prime wintertime, I'll have to tell people they can't get their groceries. I probably only can do 10, not 12, so I'll be cutting a few people short on groceries," he said.
Turo delivers groceries to about 100 clients and says he's concerned about the detour onto Old Liverpool Road. He says that route has more stop lights and will likely now have more traffic, which will slow him and his deliveries down.
The DOT says there is one exception to the ban. Commercial vehicles that can clear the bridge (less that 10 feet, 9 inches) and have to use the parkway to deliver or pick up property along the road between I-81 and the village of Liverpool, will be allowed to drive it.
What do you think about banning commercial vehicles from the parkway? Is the policy too broad, or warranted, given the safety risk?