This information was provided by Rep. Claudia Tenney:
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) urged the Federal Highway Administration to hold New York State accountable for its violation of established federal law through the commercialization of rest areas on interstate highway I-81 in Binghamton.
According to 23 USC 111 (c), interstate rest areas constructed after 1960 are only permitted to sell food and drink in vending machines. However, in 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an initiative to increase the sale of items produced within the state including a proposal related to the construction of rest area along interstate highways to showcase New York-made products. Currently, two such rest areas have been constructed, one of which is located in Binghamton. These rest areas are in direct violation of established federal law.
“Commercialization of rest areas on interest state highways is a direct violation of established federal law. Local communities and small businesses across New York State depend on revenue from interstate traffic. Promoting a state run monopoly that gives private entities no chance of competing threatens the livelihood of small businesses within the 22nd District and across the state that are located just off the interstate,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “While I support efforts to increase the sale and distribution of New York State products, Governor Cuomo’s decision to construct these rest areas along the interstate violates federal law and harms local businesses in already struggling Upstate communities. Today, I am urging the Federal Highway Administration to proceed with efforts to work with New York to roll back the commercialization of rest areas and ensure compliance with federal law.”
“The travel plaza community is grateful to Congresswoman Tenney for her leadership in working to bring the state of New York into compliance with the federal law prohibiting the sale of food and other commercial services at rest areas on the Interstate right-of-way,” said National Association of Truckstop Operators (NATSO) President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “As Congresswoman Tenney has said, by violating this prohibition and putting established businesses in direct competition with the state, New York is making it harder for businesses to create jobs and is draining already cash-strapped local communities of critical tax revenues.”
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