Yonkers Hopes To Do Away With I-87 Toll Plaza

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Yonkers City Council is set to support state legislation that would do away with the toll plaza along Interstate 87 in Yonkers. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers officials are hoping to do away with what they say is an unfair and burdensome toll along Interstate 87.

The City Council will vote on a resolution Tuesday to support state legislation that would eliminate the $1.25 fee for drivers passing through the state Thruway Authority’s Yonkers toll plaza.

The plaza, near Exit 6A by the Greenburgh border, is not only a hassle for drivers, the City Council said, but it creates significant traffic congestion both along I-87 and on neighborhood streets as drivers take roundabout ways to avoid paying the fee.

Currently, lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly are reviewing the bills.  But the idea of doing away with the nominal charge is nothing new.

Legislation was first introduced to state officials in 1997, inspired by the elimination of a similar toll for cars passing through Spring Valley.  Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, sponsor of the most recent bill, said the idea began in Yonkers as an issue of fairness.

“We felt that it wasn’t fair that people in Westchester County get shackled with this toll in Yonkers,” he said.

And now, it has taken on a greater importance, city officials said, with the growing number of shopping destinations near the toll plaza.

That includes Stew Leonard’s, Costco and Home Depot as well as Ridge Hill, which sits on the opposite side of the thruway.  The area may soon become even more heavily trafficked as a developer has proposed building two large retail stores, one of which is said to be a Target, and a 400-unit residential building nearby.

By discontinuing the toll, it “will allow the City of Yonkers to help maintain its competitive shopping edge,” the City Council said.

Pretlow agreed.

“This would take away one of the barriers from going,” he said. “The fact that upper Westchester has to pay $1.25 toll each way - that’s ridiculous.”

However, passing the legislation has not been easy, Pretlow said, as the Thruway Authority continues to fight the elimination of what has become a $1.4 million annual boost to its coffers.

“The Thruway Authority doesn’t want to lose the revenue its generating,” he said.

The City Council was expected to vote on the resolution at its regularly scheduled meeting at 8 p.m. in City Hall.

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Comments (9)

howies:

While we discussing the highway toll, how about the minimum parking fee in Ridge Hill, which is 3 times that amount? I don't see retailers complaining about the parking lot rates.

MisterBill2:

Hopefully the same bill will get rid of the toll on I-95 north of New Rochelle. I go out of my way to avoid that one as well (which is more expensive - $1.75).

tommy.meehan.77:

Mister Bill you're right. That toll is terrible. And I think it hurts retailers in downtown New Rochelle. From the north you can get on I-95 at Mamaroneck Avenue and be in downtown New Rochelle in minutes. Or you could if you didn't have to pay that toll. It's an extra expense and it slows you down. I can't tell you how many times I've avoided that toll.

mickey7:

The toll will be removed the next time there are six Mondays in a month (aka NEVER)

tommy.meehan.77:

I wouldn't be too sure of that. I think there's a good chance it may be removed. The toll in Spring Valley (near Airmont Rd) on I87-287 was removed, the Hutch, Merritt and Saw Mill Parkways have all had their tolls removed.

ny1imfun:

Use that toll probably 6x - 8x a week. would be GREAT!!

tommy.meehan.77:

There's many times I would use the Thruway from Tuckahoe Road -- primarily to get to Elmsford or White Plains -- if there was no toll. For me, 87 is better because it's closer to Nepperhan Ave than the Sprain Brook Pky.

What is the distance from the Tuckahoe Road entrance to 287? Why should drivers have to pay $1.25 for that short distance?

When you come up 87 from the Bronx as soon as you get to the last Central Park Ave exit everybody gets off and takes the Sprain. It's a waste of time and gas.

Hope they do it.

Truth:

Good Luck with that, that toll has always been a rip off since way back when

bruce.tillson.7:

Those toll booths act as a traffic control for the whole area. People will speed like hell through there if it's not there. You will still have congection whether or not the booths are there.

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