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April 25, 2014
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Bethel adopts highway use law; Significant changes to model law

Logging trucks that have been using Creamery Road and Gale Road may be compelled to use county and state roads under the newly passed Bethel highway use law.
TRR photo by Fritz Mayer


However, the local law will have significant impacts in other ways. At the public hearing, for instance, several residents complained about logging trucks that were using Creamery Road and other roads as short cuts to get to Route 17B, and causing damage to the roads, especially now that the spring thaw has begun. Kathy DeGraff said there are logging trucks, rock haulers, mulch haulers, and other tractor trailers using the roads.

Attorney Karen London, who lives in Bethel and was on the committee that shaped the local law, said it would address this situation, and prevent large trucks from using town roads when more substantial county and state roads are available.

Resident Bob Barrett said another area where trucks use local roads is Smallwood, where drivers take shortcuts through the community to avoid New York State Department of Transportation traffic stops set up on Route 17B.

McEwan said that the enforcement provision of the new law provides for a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense and escalating fines for additional offenses. He also said that once signs are placed at the appropriate locations, enforcement of the law could begin.

Supervisor Dan Strum said the committee that created the law would meet once again to review which roads need signage.