Ithaca, N.Y. — Mayor of Dryden Jim Zimmer spoke out strongly against a proposal to redirect truck traffic through the village he represents at a meeting with local lawmakers and the public on Thursday.

Ithaca Is Bluegrass Jan. 23-25

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A committee of local officials has released 23 ideas for improving truck safety in the wake of the fatal Simeon’s crash. One of those ideas — rerouting traffic going toward the city to Route 13 via the village of Dryden — has quickly emerged as the most controversial.

Jim Zimmer

At a public forum in Ithaca Town Hall on Thursday, Mayor Svante Myrick acknowledged as much in kicking off the meeting, saying he wanted to take the public discussion over the proposals directly to the most controversial.

Zimmer, the Dryden mayor, stood up with a mic and spoke at length of the extent of the alarm among village residents of the idea of sending more trucks through Dryden. (One transit official estimates that the idea would add 30 trucks a day to a road that currently gets around 500.)

Zimmer referenced his work as a veterinarian in showing why he’d like the idea killed early on.

“I believe wholeheartedly in vaccinating,” Zimmer said, “and treating diseases early on.”

Zimmer articulated a few principal concerns about the proposal and said that the working group should have included more input from around the county before coming forward with its proposal.

“The primary concern is that presently for years we have had a heavy traffic load through the village,” Zimmer said. “The safety of the residents of the village: That’s my primary concern.”

After Zimmer spoke, a few other members of the public — about 30 people in total — also opposed the idea.

Mayor Myrick acknowledged the concerns and stressed that officials were very far from implementing the idea to reroute traffic through Dryden.

“This doesn’t surprise me: Who wants more trucks moving through their community?,” Myrick said.

We’ll provide another update from the meeting after it ends.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.