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Why are some of the new Thruway rest stops so small?

The new rest stops along the New York State Thruway have drawn some criticism from travelers who say the restrooms are too small.

Some of the folks who have visited the Junius Ponds rest area between exits 41 and 42 say the entire space isn’t large enough to accommodate traffic.

News10NBC reached out to the Thruway Authority, who said the rest stops that have opened thus far in the Finger Lakes and Western New York represent the smallest of all locations.

“The first three new service areas that opened in 2022 represent some of the smallest locations. When completed, 17 of the Thruway’s 27 service areas will be nearly triple the size or larger, compared to the first three locations. Many locations will have significantly larger buildings, greater seating capacity, and larger restroom accommodations,” the Thruway Authority told News10NBC.

Among those that will be significantly larger – the Clifton Springs rest stop near exit 43.

But the broader question that a lot of visitors have asked thus far is this: Why is there such a discrepancy between larger and smaller rest stops?

The answer, officials say, is because of the data that was analyzed to determine the size of locations. They used 10 years of traffic data at the old rest stops to determine how large to make the new ones.

The Authority says once all of the rest stops are open, traffic should regulate at the smaller locations, so that they are not flooded.

We visited the Junius Ponds rest stop at a weekday around 11 a.m. The corridor wasn’t crowded around the entry, but the seating area where motorists eat was full. There was no place to sit and eat. The number of bathroom stalls at each rest stop has also been a frequent area of criticism.

For now, motorists will have to contend with busy rest areas until all locations are completed at some point next year.