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Local Leaders Critical of Pataki Plan for I-190 Tolls

By Mark Wozniak

Buffalo, NY – Governor Pataki unveiled a proposal this week to remove the state canal system from oversight by the state Thruway Authority. The plan, which needs the state legislature's approval, will allow the Thruway to substantially reduce tolls.

The governor's proposal also includes commuter discounts for users of the Black Rock and Ogden Street toll barriers on the Niagara Section, despite calls for their removal. Erie County clerk David Swarts says that's unacceptable.

"On this particular issue -- tolls -- this community stands united in opposition to a compromise of any sort," Swarts said. "I consider this proposal the governor is putting out there a bone. We want the whole steak."

Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz says the governor's proposal will not even be considered in Albany unless it includes the removal of the Niagara Section Buffalo tolls.