Tuesday Night’s Meeting about the Path Parking

About 20 people attended the first of two public hearings about parking for the new bridge’s shared use path last week.

The Thruway Authority’s parking demand study concluded Rockland needs 54 spots; Westchester’s 97 spaces can be accommodated on the site of the former state police barracks in Tarrytown.

Daniel Convissor of Sleepy Hollow felt the path should be open 24/7 and cited safety as a major concern on the Westchester side.

Alt EF

“A signalized crosswalk with a median refuge area is necessary at the intersection of Route 9 and the shared use path,” he told Executive Project Engineer Jamey Barbas, P.E., and Daniel D’Angelo, P.E., Deputy Chief Engineer, NYS Department of Transportation. “The Environmental Assessment explicitly says no changes will be made here. That opinion is dangerously mistaken.”

Convissor cited the danger cyclists exiting the shared use path to turn left onto Route 9, and, similarly, for cyclists riding north on Route 9 who wish to turn left towards the shared use path.

Another cyclist who uses the bridge often, David Hodgson of Sleepy Hollow is also concerned about the Route 9 crossing. “I have an 11-year-old that likes to ride with me, and this is a chaotic situation,” he said.

Hodgson and other cyclists would like the path to open early in the morning and remain open late at night, while David Patel of Tarrytown expressed surprise that the state didn’t include the other side of the Routes 119 and 9 intersection (across the street).

While Westchester Cycle Club Board of Directors member Mark Garrahan felt the bridge’s six miles round trip is the ride, another cyclist said neither the amount of parking spots nor their location to the path is concern for members.

Garage bays and highway equipment face the Thruway and allow for easy access/NYSTA

Garage bays and highway equipment face the Thruway and allow for easy access/NYSTA

“It looks like a lot of cement,” Leanne Bloom commented about the proposed maintenance facility. “Forbes called Tarrytown one of the 10 prettiest towns in America,” she said. “That doesn’t belong at the gateway of our beautiful town.”

Bloom said the bridge project “could have been an opportunity to create another main street. It (building) certainly doesn’t honor our heritage,” she said, mentioning historic names and properties. “It makes me sad.”

The Tarrytown plan starts the shared use path near that planned maintenance facility on Broadway and includes public parking.

South Nyack’s two options — Alternative E and Alternative F — both have the shared use path and the Esposito Trail meeting yet differ regarding traffic patterns and modifications. Alternative F closes the east/southbound Thruway entrance near Cornelison Avenue and South Broadway in South Nyack while moving the parking lot closer to the path and bridge.

“We want to ensure that the concept chosen will be the best for our residents and will eliminate parking from our streets while allowing for economic development,” South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian said in December.

The Thruway Authority agreed last year to move the path’s terminus away from that location after residents protested it would disrupt their quiet neighborhood.

Alt F

Additional concerns were parking, side streets near Village Hall, visitor parking in Nyack, pedestrian and bike safety, location of bathroom facilities, increased traffic. The village’s daily traffic (12,500 cars) is quadruple its population (3,500 residents).

South Nyack’s Task Force recommended, and its village trustees approved, Concept F, which addresses the residents’ and village’s concerns and requires a minimum amount of construction.

South Nyack received a $250,000 grant through the bridge project’s community benefits program to study the feasibility of redesigning and redeveloping Thruway Interchange 10. Consultants from Willdan Financial Services and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. in February presented results of their feasibility study for that land.

The public comment period for the bridge parking options remains open until 5 p.m. April 1. Comments can be sent by email to info@newnybridge.com. All comments will be reviewed and responded to during the next few months.

After the deadline, the Federal Highway Administration, the Thruway Authority and the state Department of Transportation will review comments in the state’s environmental assessment of the project and those submitted during the public comment period. They are expected to choose a preferred alternative this summer.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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