The Thruway is revamping its rest stops, but some feel left out

Yvonne Bachmore and Gary Grassman owe their livelihood to New York’s Business Enterprise Program, which trains blind people to manage and own snack shops and vending machines.

So when the state Thruway Authority launched a plan in October to overhaul the 27 rest areas along the state’s 570-mile superhighway, they saw it as a once-in-a-generation chance to expand opportunities for blind business owners who, by law, get priority to operate on state property.

They ran into a major problem: They couldn’t get the Thruway Authority’s attention.

Grassman and Bachmore, who own and manage separate stores in Manhattan public buildings, are among the blind vendors who fear they are being left out of New York’s big plans for Thruway rest areas despite the state law that is meant to give them first dibs at operating vending facilities there.

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