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Nisky ice cream truck ban suspended

Child's petition changes town's 34-year restriction

An unfamiliar sight will soon be rolling along the streets of Niskayuna, selling the icy cold treats area children petitioned to receive.

The number of children at the Tuesday, July 27, public hearing regarding the decision to allow ice cream truck in town almost equaled the adults in attendance, and the Town Board listened as child after child made a case for the trucks.

I started a petition to bring back ice cream trucks, and I think it's a great idea, said 8-year old Alex Burgess. "Mr. Ding-A-Ling can't control when cars hit the kids in the road, so I don't understand why the ice cream trucks were banned, because he couldn't control what the cars did."

Ice cream trucks have not been allowed in Niskayuna since 1976, in a decision that was made after a young girl was struck and injured by an oncoming vehicle while gathering around an ice cream truck. The ban stood until Alex called board member Julie McDonnell and asked how to submit a petition to the board.

That petition led to a victory for children as Town Supervisor Joe Landry cast the deciding vote on a controversial topic. Board members McDonnell and Denise Murphy McGraw also voted in favor of suspending the ban. Board members Liz Kasper and Jonathan McKinney voted against the resolution.

The resolution allows Mr. Ding-A-Ling a monthlong trial period in town, from Aug. 6 to Sept. 6.

"The only thing that bothers me about this process is I think it's a done deal," said resident Frank Campano. "When you have the press taking pictures of [the children] and you have all of this leading up to this, you know you are all going to vote yes for it."

Kasper and McKinney, however, echoed concerns residents shared about the safety issues around the trucks.

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