New York Gov. David Paterson yesterday announced proposed new trucking regulations for New York State which would restrict large trucks from using seven highways as shortcuts, drawing fire from the state trucking association head for the "terrible decision."

Subject to criteria prescribed by federal law, the NYSDOT has evaluated 64 state highways and identified seven on which access to large trucks should be restricted. Each day, nonlocal
trucks, many hauling municipal garbage, leave the interstates and cut through towns across the Finger Lakes and Central New York.

"These proposed regulations strike an appropriate balance between the safety concerns of Finger Lakes residents and those of the trucking industry," Paterson said.

Kendra Adams, executive director of the New York State Motor Truck Association, did not agree and predicted it would harm the region's economy.

"In taking this action, the administration ignored the pleas of virtually every major business, agricultural and retail group in New York," Adams said in a statement. "Led by the Motor Truck Association, these groups provided detailed information to the Governor's office showing that the action would drive up transportation costs and eliminate thousands of jobs in the upstate region. The administration did not dispute this information. In fact, the administration acknowledged the potential job loss, but insisted that it would be limited to just one sector - the trucking industry."

Adams pointed out that these roads have always been used by commercial vehicles and are essential to the industries that form the backbone of the regional economy, especially agriculture and forest products, and the entire retail sector.

"The people who benefit from this policy are wealthy people who own second homes in the
Finger Lakes and who think truck traffic is an annoyance. These are the people the
administration appears to care most about, not working families."

The governor also announced the creation of the Trucking Industry and Community Relations Task Force, which will make recommendations on the proposed regulations, monitor the implementation of trucking regulations when approved, evaluate their effectiveness and recommend potential improvements. Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee will chair the task force.

The seven highways from which large trucks will be excluded, except for local pick-up and delivery, include:
* N.Y. Route 41 between U.S. Route 11 and US Route 20 in Cortland and Onondaga counties
* N.Y. Route 41A between NY Route 41 and US Route 20 in Cortland, Cayuga, and Onondaga counties
* N.Y. Route 90 between U.S. Route 11 and US Route 20 in Cortland and Cayuga counties
* N.Y. Route 38 between NY Route 90 and the southern Auburn City line in Cayuga county
* N.Y. Route 79 between U.S. Route 11 and the eastern Ithaca City line in Broome, Tioga and Tompkins counties
* N.Y. Route 89 between the western Ithaca City line and US Route 20 in Tompkins and Seneca counties
* N.Y. Route 96 between the western Ithaca City line and NY Route 414 and between NY Route 414 and U.S. Route 20 in Tompkins and Seneca counties.

The regulations will be officially published in the State Register for a 45 day review period. The draft regulations are available at the DOT web site,