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When New York State’s picturesque parkway system was built early in the twentieth century, it was designed for automobiles. Some bridges on the parkway system have posted vertical clearances as low as 6’11”. Commercial vehicles often strike low bridges causing serious accidents, long delays while they are removed and damage to property.
Under the direction of Governor George E. Pataki, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles changed its regulations in the year 2000 regarding the procedure for registering light-duty pickup trucks. You can now get passenger class plates for a light-duty pickup truck. Prior to that change, a pickup truck received commercial plates unless you made significant changes to the vehicle. Once registered as a passenger vehicle, these light-duty pickup trucks qualify for using New York State Parkways.
This information may be found on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website; https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-pick-truck-passenger-class-vehicle. Form MV-114 (Information For Pick-Up Truck Owners) gives more information (available from the Department of Motor Vehicles).
With limited exceptions, there are no permits issued for use of buses on the Parkways. Two of these exceptions involve special circumstances. Westchester County buses, on a limited basis, are allowed to use the Sprain Brook Parkway and the Taconic State Parkway (between the southern end and Route 35 on the north). These bus runs, for the most part, are done without passengers. Another exception category pertains to special circumstances where a highway construction project causes a significantly longer detour for school buses. An example of the this type of cirumstance occurred during the construction of the Miller Hill Road interchange on the Taconic State Parkway. School buses were allowed a limited usage of the Taconic State Parkway. Again, these runs were done without passenger involvement whenever possible.
Governmental agency (State, County, Town, etc.) vehicles, whether they be buses, trucks, or other commercial vehicles, have no more rights to be on the Parkway system than non-government commercial vehicles. This, of course, excludes highway maintenance vehicles, or the "HELP" (Highway Emergency Local Patrol) Program vehicles.
For limitations on using Commercial Vehicles, Trucks or Tractor
Trailers on Parkways please visit the following link:
New York State Parkways Commercial Vehicle Restriction brochure.
police vehicle and fire vehicle.
Every motor vehicle designed, appropriately equipped and used for the purpose of carrying sick or injured persons.
Every device propelled by the feet acting upon pedals, having wheels any two of which are each more than 20 inches in diameter.
Every motor vehicle used for transportation of persons that is designed for carrying more than 14 passengers, or has more than four tires, or that exceeds 9 feet in height from underside of tire to the top of the vehicle, 7 feet in width or 19 feet in length.
Every type of motor-driven vehicle used for commercial purposes on the highways, such as the transportation of goods, wares and merchandise and motor coaches carrying passengers; including trailers and semitrailers and tractors when used in combination with trailers and semitrailers, and excepting such vehicles as are run only upon rails or tracks.
The operation, or parking, of an authorized emergency vehicle, when such vehicle is engaged in transporting a sick or injured person, pursuing an actual or suspected violator of the law, or responding to, or working or assisting at the scene of, an accident, disaster, police call, alarm of fire or other emergency. Emergency operation shall not include returning from such service.
Every vehicle operated for fire service purposes owned and identified as being owned by the State, a public authority, a county, town, city, village or fire district, or a fire corporation subject to the provisions of subdivision 1 of section 112 of the Membership Corporations Law, or a fire company as defined in section 100 of the General Municipal Law. Any of the following vehicles shall be fire vehicles only for the purpose of this section:
A station wagon type vehicle equipped for transporting a coffin or remains of a deceased person.
The entire width between the boundary line of every way or parkway publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
Any vehicle motivated by a power connected therewith or propelled by a power within itself, which is or can be used as the home or living abode or habitation of one or more persons, either temporarily or permanently. In the application of these regulations to house coaches, a house coach propelled by a power within itself shall be deemed a motor vehicle, a house coach motivated by a power connected therewith shall be deemed a trailer, and all house coaches shall be deemed vehicles.
Every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.
Every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed five horsepower, and every bicycle with motor attached.
Every vehicle owned by the State, a public authority, a county, town, city or village, and operated by the police department or law enforcement agency of such governmental unit. Any other-vehicle operated by a chief or deputy or assistant chief of a police department, a sheriff, undersheriff or regular deputy sheriff. A vehicle owned and operated by the law enforcement unit of a public or private corporation authorized by law to maintain a unit for the enforcement of law on the property of such corporation shall be a police vehicle only for the purposes of this section.
Every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities or privately owned and operated for the transportation of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities that is designed for carrying more than 14 passengers, or has more than four tires, or that exceeds 9 feet in height from underside of tire to the top of the vehicle, 7 feet in width or 19 feet in length.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York further defines a School Bus as:
"Every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities or privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities."
Any trailer which is so designed that, when operated, the forward end of its body or chassis rests upon the body or chassis of the towing vehicle.
A motor vehicle having a seating capacity for passengers of not more than seven persons, in addition to the driver, and used in the business of transporting passengers for compensation.
Any vehicle not propelled by its own power drawn on the public highways by a motor vehicle as defined in this section, except motorcycle sidecars, vehicles being towed by a nonrigid support and vehicles designed and primarily used for other purposes and only occasionally drawn by such a motor vehicle.
Every motor vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property; provided, however, that a pickup truck or a van which is legally registered as a passenger vehicle and which has passenger license plates shall not be deemed to be a truck.
SUBCHAPTER E § 180.1
SPECIAL REGULATIONS REGARDING SPECIAL PARKWAYS
§ 180.1 General
By section 10 of chapter 370 of the Laws of 1979, all rules, regulations, acts, determinations and decisions of the East Hudson Parkway Authority pertaining to the functions transferred to the Department of Transportation by chapter 370 of the Laws of 1979 that are in force at the time of such transfer, such transfer date being November 1, 1979, shall continue to be in full force and effect as rules, regulations, acts, determinations and decisions of the Department of Transportation until and unless duly modified or abrogated by the Commissioner of Transportation.
§ 182.24 Insignia and signs on vehicles.
§ 182.25 Median strip and crossovers
The median strip between the laned roadways in the parkway system, including crossovers and areas beyond the laned roadways, shall not be used by vehicles or persons on foot for any purpose except official purposes, or in emergencies.
§ 182.29 Projecting objects.
§ 182.31 Restricted vehicles.
The following type vehicles, including those elsewhere defined in this Part,
are not permitted on the parkways within the parkway system, unless authorized under an agreement