OPINION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thruway rest stop conditions ‘deplorable’

Letter to the Editor

A recent trip took us along the New York State Thruway from the Finger Lakes region to Sturbridge, Mass. via the Massachusetts Turnpike and back. We were saddened and upset to see such a drastic change in the four New York State Thruway services areas we visited.

In the past at such stops, we would find fully operational food vendors with several choices of meals, gift/snack shops, clean and well-stocked restrooms, as well as gas. On this trip, we found sign boards with most of these services removed.

The food options, if any, were few, and the quality and service were extremely poor. This was especially so for people with dietary concerns. At one stop, my husband waited in line for 50 minutes to purchase what turned out to be very expensive and overcooked food. He was waited on by a trainee who was supervised by someone as unskilled as he was. No one behind the counter seemed to know what they were doing.

Travelers during this time of heightened health concerns need the assurance of clean and well-stocked restrooms to help control the spread of germs. At every New York State Thruway stop we visited, the men’s and women’s restrooms were so deplorable that only extreme necessity made us frequent them. The floors were set and littered with trash overflowing from bins. The stalls were filthy as were the sinks and changing tables. At several stops the one handicap stall, which I needed to use, was out of order.

New York politicians continue to fund extended unemployment benefits and other perks that make it more desirable to stay home than work. As 60-plus year taxpayers at both the state and federal levels, we object to our tax monies being used to support people who won’t work when almost every business is posting Help Wanted signs.

New York advertises that it is a beautiful place to visit but without workers necessary to serve the New York State Thruway and other state-operated sites, we are giving visitors a very bad impression of our state.

After this recent experience, I would never return to New York if I were not a resident.

Mickie & Dave Christiansen

Penn Yan

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letter writers are responsible for making sure the information they submit is accurate and factual.