Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page

South Nyack: Who Said What to Who, and When?

It’s been a week you shouldn’t know from, as nana used to say. After the mayor’s unexpected announcement that the shared use path will land at Cornelison Avenue and South Broadway, everyone, including she, was up in arms.

Wait. Why, again?

Project officials were studying parking ideas, and the village was waiting for another meeting with the state to discuss concepts for the shared use path when it enters South Nyack.

How the state determined the # of visitors at a given time.

How the state determined the # of visitors at a given time.

Well . . . what does “how to keep the cars off the streets” sound like to you? That’s what the March 20 meeting was all about: explaining how to maintain the village’s characteristic and integrity while keeping its streets clear of cars.

Not all of the nearly 500 people who might visit during a peak weekend hour will drive to South Nyack (see chart). It begs the questions, “Who decided what, and when?” There’s more to this story.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

No Minutes, Many Months of Finger-Pointing Later

Earlier this week South Nyack residents rallied behind village Mayor Bonnie Christian and other elected officials regarding the state’s decision to plant the shared use path terminus at their doorstep.

You’ve heard the expression “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” right?

The South Nyack Task Force has been meeting for more than a year without recording minutes. At the village Board of Trustees’ June 10, 2014, meeting, Hope Cameron inquired if minutes were taken, to which Task Force member Jerry Ilowite answered ‘no.’

Direct question, direct answer. How is that transparent, the same transparency residents and the mayor are asking of the state?

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

Where are records of those discussions? The village asked project officials to move the terminus from Smith Avenue, a tiny dead-end street off Piermont Avenue, to the intersection of South Broadway and Cornelison Avenue, with the Village Hall site slated for parking.

Who requested the move? Certainly not village residents, who saw red when they heard about it. Who requested the move?

For months I’ve been writing, and asking, about a meeting with the state re Exit 10 and the shared use path. Each time, special project advisor Brian Conybeare said engineers were still studying the NNYB_Rockland_Concepts_20141125-3 submitted by the village, residents and other stakeholders.

Here’s the bottom half of one of the pages:

bridge study

The top half of this page shows the process and results.

After months of intensive questionnaires and data collection for the parking demand study, it was determined that the Westchester side needed 97 parking spaces, and the Rockland side needed 54. Where to put the parking? Each of the concepts had to be fleshed out.

See data and the complete survey at the above link.

The state said ‘yes’ once when the village asked that the terminus be moved. I’ve contacted the mayor and a Task Force member for explanation. Now the village points a finger and blames the state for not cooperating?

Ask the South Nyack Task Force what happened at its meetings and discussions.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Village Seeks Help from Albany re SUP Terminus

Let’s talk turkey. Not Thanksgiving turkey.

Not In My Backyard: South Nyack Residents protest the terminus that will end in their neighborhood/John Cameron

Not In My Backyard: South Nyack residents protest the terminus that will end in their neighborhood/John Cameron

Disappointed that the state is moving forward with plans for the shared use path terminus without the meeting residents have anticipated since last spring, South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian and elected officials gathered in front of Village Hall today to criticize project officials’ decision for South Broadway and Cornelison Avenue.

“The shared use path is a critical issue for South Nyack,” Christian said. “A major tourist destination is planned, and we need the governor to review the plan for the terminus so that it meets the needs of those using it while protecting the character and integrity of the village.”

“Shocked is an appropriate word,” Legislator Nancy Low-Hogan said, concerned. “I’m really disappointed and hoping there’s more to the story that I haven’t heard yet. It’s not a good location, there were other plans for other entrances, and this (decision) raises a lot of questions.”

Engineers were studying the NNYB_Rockland_Concepts_20141125-3.

bridge studyAfter months of intensive questionnaires and data collection for the parking demand study, it was determined that the Westchester side needed 97 parking spaces, and the Rockland side needed 54.

From the start, the village maintained the terminus can only be successful if done in conjunction with its plans for redevelopment, Planning Board Chairman Jerry Ilowite said. This is precisely why the village was awarded a $250,000 grant from the $20 million Community Benefits Program to study how to best develop the 25-acre parcel (Interchange 10).

Interchange concept suggested by resident Greg Toolan

Interchange concept suggested by resident Greg Toolan

Greg Toolan, a land surveyor and member of the South Nyack Task Force, was concerned about the intersection’s engineering and submitted one of the concepts — a reworked plan for Exit 10 at a cost of nearly $9 million ($8,850,000). It would put parking at Interchange 10 and on Route 9W Bridge, and connect to the SUP via a closed on-ramp to the Thruway eastbound. Toolan “designed it to maintain the 14-acre staging area, and the on- and off-ramps, and when the project is done, you can give something back to the village.” It was the second most expensive concept; the first cost $9,400.000.

At that, the state said no.

“We have been working collaboratively with South Nyack, its task force and other stakeholders for months on this issue and — at the village’s request — the project team already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to relocate the end of the shared use path once,” Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare said.

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

“Now the mayor wants to move it again, at an estimated cost of nearly $10 million, and her plan would require a year-long closure of the South Broadway Bridge in the heart of the village, disrupting traffic and emergency services,” Conybeare said.

He reasoned the state sees no reason to opt for a plan that would cost taxpayers highly, only to find that it may have to be redone in the future once the village decides its plans for the Interchange. “While we will continue to work with the village on reasonable solutions, we also have a responsibility to protect taxpayers and tollpayers,” he said.

Each of the concepts will undergo an environmental review, same as the bridge project. While the twin spans, shared use path and its terminus will be open in 2018, South Nyack only recently released its Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a feasibility study.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Seeing the Tappan Zee Bridge in a New Light

Last week, I wrote about Team Outreach’s visit to two elementary schools in Nyack. The kids loved the presentations, and two parents said they’d like more programs about the bridge project in school.

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Parents and teachers wrote on Facebook that the presentation was a success, and the kids loved it. “Wow! I hope you can expand it to a walking tour,” one commented. Wait until you read what Liberty Elementary School 3rd-grade teacher Marjan Perry said about the visit to her class. “We’re learning about it, and we take ownership of ‘our side of the river,’” Perry said. A new Journeys Common Core reading program introduced her class to two new books.

“In the fictional one (Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting), two fathers are friends, and their two kids are arguing about whose parent — worker or painter — has the more important job,” she said. This led to them learning all jobs on the bridge are important.

“The nonfiction book (Bridges by Matthew Danzeris) is about types of bridge, and my class is fascinated with bridges in general,” Perry said. “Dan showed the slide and PowerPoint presentations, and told us why we need a bridge, and talked about traffic and current construction on the bridge.”

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

They got a kick from seeing what the bridge will look like with cutouts (of cars and vehicles), and the question and answer time.

“A Solid Foundation,” year two of a five-year educational plan that corresponds with the project’s timetable, talks about the materials used to build the bridge’s foundations, illustrating via animations. Her class also learned about protecting the environment, including endangered sturgeon and Peregrine falcons.

“They kids also liked seeing pictures of the cranes working, and the construction camera views, and the falcon nest,” Perry said. And they were mesmerized by the time-lapse video of progress to date. “It felt like they had a deep local connection because some of them cross the bridge with their parents.”

Her thoughts? After living in Rockland County for 20 years, she said, “I won’t ever go over the bridge without thinking like this again.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Lane Closures Tonight thru Tomorrow A.M. Only

This a.m. via EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown

This a.m. via EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown

“Walk between the raindrops,” mom would say. And still does. If you’re driving in them today, you’ll want to watch out: three northbound lanes on I-87/I-287 will be closed to apply lane markers and shift lanes:

• From Monday (tonight) at 11 p.m. to (Tuesday) tomorrow at 4:30 am. — from Exit 9 to and including Exit 10 (closed at 10 p.m.). Only one lane will be open. Use Exit 11, then follow signs to Routes 9W and 59.

Rain or snow means all bets are off, and plans move to Tuesday night.

Thanksgiving Day this week means no lane closures from Wednesday to next week, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First Initiative. There’s more:

• From tonight at 8 p.m. to tomorrow at 4:30 a.m., and again from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. — to remove part of the Westchester landing and make room for construction.

And pile driving for the new foundations is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; occasionally, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Details, including pile driving and boater safety, are in the November 21 press release. Check out the Coast Guard’s weekly Local Notice to Mariners, excerpted and in its entirety, listed under Boater Safety Information on the New NY Bridge website. A LNM primer is here.

Stay safe!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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