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Are new Thruway rest areas needed?

The Times Union reported on the $ 450 million project to renovate New York State’s Thruway rest areas and introduce some of the largest nationally recognized food franchises. Come on, is it really necessary?

Thruway rest areas have all been remodeled relatively recently over the past 20 years and this project was totally necessary to replace the old 1950s rest areas with their old-fashioned cafeterias and limited food and convenience stores.
These alternate seating areas have all been very well designed to fit in with the characteristics of their area, like the Adirondack style buildings here in our area. It’s nice facilities and good vendors like McDonalds and Starbucks, plus expanded travel shops and large, clean bathrooms. They serve all the purposes necessary for a traveler to get in and out quickly and safely and get back on the road. This is their only goal. They are not malls, food courts or entertainment centers.

The Thruway Authority should also carefully consider the use of at least the upstate rest areas. The parking lots seemed almost empty when I saw them on several recent trips.

It’s great to bring in other good fast food vendors with a few minimal changes to the current facilities, but $ 450 million (not including cost overruns)? That makes a lot of fancy chicken sandwiches and burgers !!

Paul Culligan
Brunswick


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