Last week's storm is a distant memory for most. But with winter far from over, trucking companies like RELCO Systems in Lockport are already preparing for the next potential travel ban along state routes.
Treg Lewis is operations lead for the company. He said his concern stems from an incident that happened to one of his drivers last Wednesday. According to Lewis, a driver was turned away from the Angola Travel Plaza because it was over crowded.
“There needs to be a place for him to pull over and there needs to be accommodations,” Lewis said.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the New York State Thruway Authority said certain trucks were asked to move from the shoulder of Thruway Service Area ramps to maintain safe entry and exit for all motorists. But, the statement went onto say “drivers had ample opportunity to find alternative parking locations long before reaching the truck ban area." It also said the thruway had more than 600 spots specifically for trucks. That includes five service areas, nine tandem lots, and two parking text lots.
In Lewis's case, his driver continued on the Thruway during the ban and pulled over once he was out of New York.
Lewis said as bans are issued more often, he'd like to work with local and state officials to create a master list of alternative locations where drivers can park. He said it could be yet another tool during weather like we experienced last week.
“If there's an unused parking lot at a Walmart or Kmart that has unused space for a truck to pull over, it's only going to increase safety for everyone on the roads. Realize these are men and women trying to get through the storm like anybody else,” Lewis said.