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Travelers frustrated by new Thruway rest stops after busy holiday weekend

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Over Memorial Day weekend, many travelers experienced the newly renovated rest areas on the New York State Thruway, part of a $450 million initiative to overhaul all 27 rest areas along the 570-mile superhighway.

Many visitors expressed disappointment over crowded interiors and long queues at food and drink stalls.


The design of the new stops, varying in size from 3,900 to over 20,000 square feet, and featuring a range of eatery options, has been questioned.

Some visitors have also expressed concerns about the inclusion of Chick-fil-A in several of the rest areas due to its closure on Sundays and its controversial stance on the LGBTQ+ community.


The Thruway Authority said throughout the construction and opening process- especially after criticism of the locally operated Junius Ponds rest area- that size of each was based on historical traffic data.

In short, smaller rest areas saw less traffic over the prior years. All told, dissatisfaction runs deep among those who are using the smaller rest areas.

The Thruway Authority anticipates a redistribution of visitors and a return to usual traffic patterns as more service areas reopen.

In case you missed it- here’s a look at the Clifton Springs rest area, which reopened earlier this year. It’s one of the larger sites, which has received favorable reviews from travelers.