Weekly Feature



2016-10-26 / Local News

Legislature urges ‘open road tolling’ across the state

The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus unanimously approved a resolution in support of upgrading the entire New York State Thruway system to electronic tolls, which would allow motorists to pass through more easily. Cars and trucks would be tolled through a high speed EZ Pass system that doesn’t require stopping and thus bringing with it many improvements.

“The traditional toll plazas in the greater Buffalo region have been a topic of conversation for several years as they have caused various issues for motorists and residents,” said Legislator Ed Rath. “The Erie County Legislature supports upgrading our region’s toll plaza to electronic tolls to virtually eliminate delays and reduce pollution. The area around the Williamsville toll booth will especially benefit from this change as it has been a trouble spot for years.”

Recently, New York State announced that it will begin the conversion to 100 percent electronic tolling for several bridges and tunnels in the New York City area. The Erie County Legislature supports expanding this project and outfitting toll plazas in the Buffalo region with the same technology.

“During peak traffic times, the Lackawanna Toll Barrier can be a nightmare, even with multiple booths open,” said Legislator Lynne Dixon. “The electronic tolling would allow cars and trucks to pass through easily, eliminating noise and pollution concerns that plague that area. Most of us have dealt with the headaches associated with today’s method for toll taking and would all benefit from the upgrade.”

“The Legislature wants to see the current upgrades planned for the New York City region brought to Western New York. I encourage the Thruway Authority to take the necessary steps to install electronic tolling here so that our roadways can improve thanks to the advantages of open road tolling,” added Legislator Kevin Hardwick. “I know the residents in my district, especially those living or working on Grand Island, would welcome this improvement as soon as possible as the bridge toll barriers often cause significant delays.”

The resolution was also cosponsored by Chairman John Mills, Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo and Legislator Ted Morton and approved 11-0. Copies of the resolution will be sent to the Western New York delegations for the New York State Senate and Assembly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, and the office of the Director of the New York State Department of Transportation.

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