Archive for February, 2019|Monthly archive page

Five Years Ago Today: Transit Recommendations

The jughandle turn to Route 119 is further north/Courtesy of Ian C. Ligget

Early speculation that bus rapid transit would start day one the new bridge opened in 2018 was correct, per the Final Transit Recommendations released after the final committee meeting last month in Tarrytown.

Possibly bus stops in Rockland County include: Chestnut Street Suffern, Campbell Avenue/Herrion Road Suffern, Rt. 306 Monsey, Spring Valley Transit Center, Nanuet Park & Ride, The Shops at Nanuet®, Palisades Center, Lot J, Macy’s, Nyack Hospital, Main Street, Nyack and Interchange 10 on the Thruway in South Nyack.

“It is important to note that many other transit options were considered by the (31-member) MTTF, including commuter and light rail options,” per a disclaimer. Ideas for the short-term (now through 2018), mid-term (15 years after the bridge is built), and long-term (2033 and beyond) now face land use and financial challenges.

One money source is the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program, through which $600 million was recently made available.

While the new system changes transportation options within and between Westchester and Rockland, based on studies indicating increased commuting within counties than to New York City, “Local jurisdictions will have to be consulted about whether priority transit can be done,” ARUP engineer Trent Lethco, AICP said.

If the free WiFi, better seats and covered station stops don’t attract riders, maybe the unified fare system, or priority transit will: BRT is a guaranteed 25 percent faster on local roads, 20 percent so on I-287.

Money and time savers were music to South Nyack resident Annie Hekker Weiss, who spends two hours daily in transit to work. “That’s four extra hours every day to pay a babysitter for commuting time. Thank you for helping to figure this out for us.”

“South Nyack has been recommended for a $250,000 grant through the NNYB Community Benefit Program to study Interchange 10 and potential development opportunities surrounding it,” the summary said. Ramp metering and signal upgrades are proposed for Route 59, and a future study will decide if a new Thruway exit, Interchange 14X near Airmont/Viola/Monsey, can relieve traffic on that route.

And while the new bridge’s $300 million worth of structural strength can support future rail, there’s no place to build it — now. One short-term improvement calls for an I-287 corridor study to reserve (search for) space in case new facilities are desired. “Today there is insufficient room to allow for the introduction of new measures to improve transit or transportation performance,” the summary said.

Seven proposed routes (three between the counties, three within Westchester, and one connecting Westchester to the Bronx) will connect with transit hubs, including the Palisades Center, downtown Nyack, the Shops at Nanuet, downtown Suffern, and Westchester County Airport.

Earlier-omitted travel routes were needs were added back — Suffern-to-Yonkers via a transfer at Spring Valley, Port Chester-to-Suffern trips via a Valhalla transfer — as was Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell’s suggestion to revisit the Tarrytown-to-White Plains segment of I-287 see what improvements can be made.

White Plains will get a new transit hub, thanks to White Plains Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC)’s $1 million study grant. Also in mid-term plans are Exit 11 reconstruction, West-of-Hudson rail improvements, and a new in-line BRT at the Palisades Center. East-west trains, and passenger service on the West Shore line, are planned for the long-term; the groups suggested talks with NYSDOT, MTA, and New Jersey Transit.

The invisible elephant appeared when Westchester League of Conservation Voters Board Member John Nonna commented, “The level of where you set the toll will determine the level of mass transit that will be considered.”

“Who will take the initiative to make sure the recommendations will move forward?” State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (88th District) asked. State DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald replied, “Our charge was to make recommendations. It’s up to the governor and the Thruway Authority to see what are the next steps.”

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times March 4, 2014.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Westchester Landing, Path Terminus take Shape

Landing under construction on August 2017, opening day westbound span/©J Rosman

The above photo was taken as our media bus made its way to the westbound span’s opening day ceremony 18 months ago. Check out the progress (below): crews are building foundation walls for the path terminus, building retaining walls, installing rebar and pouring concrete and filling previously dug holes (backfilling).

Shared use path Westchester landing leading to welcome center in Tarrytown/NYSTA

While construction is not visible from the road, you can’t miss the towers. Mom hasn’t driven across the bridge in nearly two years and wants to see it; the towers were topped with blue jump forms the last time she saw them (about two year ago).

Looking north where shared use path meets Westchester landing in Tarrytown/NYSTA

The bridge did open within the 62 month deadline (January 2013 to March 2018). Was the side path on the westbound span also factored into the timeline? I’m guessing not. Also scheduled to open this year are the maintenance facility, welcome center and new police barracks.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Throwback Thursday: Behind the Project Lens

Upper Grandview picture: a very pretty jigsaw puzzle/EarthCam® construction camera

Upper Grandview picture: a very pretty jigsaw puzzle/EarthCam® construction camera

If you’re like I am, then you’re checking out the magnificent Hudson River sunrises and sunsets courtesy of the EarthCam® construction cameras strategically located at the New NY Bridge project site.

Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) hired the Hackensack, New Jersey-based, webcam technology company to stream the five-year project, satisfying and sparking public interest and curiosity. The first of five cameras was installed last September (2013), offering panoramic and marina views of the bridge at 15-minute intervals, current project information and an interactive archive calendar.

Stokes Creative Group, Inc., TZC’s DBE public involvement consultant, worked with the Thruway team to identify each location and install the cameras,” TZC spokeswoman Carla Julian said. “They were chosen to provide the best views for project construction progress.”

The most recently-added Westchester webcam offers views of the toll plaza, maintenance facility site and abutment. Julian said there are no plans for additional cameras. Images stored remotely in a secure server by EarthCam® can be accessed via the New NY Bridge website.

Each camera takes 9.0 Megapixel images (3456 x 2592 pixels), (1/1.7″ 15.0 Megapixel CCD) from s 2.8 Lens: F/2.8-F/4.5, with a motorized zoom of 28mm-140mm and a 200% zoom range.

“Typically, images are captured and stored only one per hour,” Julian explained. “The project team chose to configure these cameras to take one image every 15 minutes to allow the public to see even more of the work that is progressing,” Julian explained

That interval “was determined to be the proper time that would allow the camera to capture an image and upload it to the server,” she said.

So you see the best quality picture of the progress to email, save, or post via Twitter or Facebook.

“The web cameras continue to be the most popular section of the website attracting hundreds of visitors each week,” Julian said. “It is estimated that by the end of the project almost 700,000 images will have been collected.”

You know the video “Project Year 2014 in Two Minutes” that’s popular with the public and with educational outreach presentations?

The video shows TZC’s armada of floating cranes and hundreds of workers installing nearly two-thirds of the new bridge’s foundation piles during the first 12 months of construction.

It’s an example of the webcams’ other goal “to create time-lapse video programs that show the new bridge rise out of the Hudson in a few short minutes,” she said.

All five — in Rockland (Upper Grandview), on the bridge’s main span, at the Tarrytown Marina, in Tarrytown and at the Westchester landing — will remain positioned through the project’s completion.

Which are your favorite EarthCam® views?

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times February 12, 2015.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Take S. Franklin St. Extension to South Nyack

Welcome to Exit 10, whose new configuration directs motorists to turn right on Hillside Avenue/Route 9W northbound. They continue to either the S. Franklin Street Extension into South Nyack or north to their destinations.

Photos of the new configuration at Exit 10 are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

At least one lane northbound from Tarrytown to Exit 10 will be closed next week from Tuesday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., so crews can work on the roadway. See press release for details.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Exit 10: South Nyack will be via Route 9W North

Your guess is as good as mine why the bottom and lower right corner of this page are blank. Maybe to emphasize where motorists exiting the Thruway at Exit 10 in South Nyack will have to drive to reach the village.

The area outlined in yellow had uneven road bumps and cracks. /©1999-2005 by N. W. Perry.

See the red X? Remember how you complained about the congestion with traffic from 9W South? And the road bumps and crevices?

Good news. Starting this week per a recent press release, you’ll have an extra turn in the other direction only to drive north, then east, and wind up at the same location as before. how many minutes will it add to your commute home?

At least one lane northbound from Tarrytown to Exit 10 will be closed from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., so crews can work on the roadway.

I’m curious about the new configuration, and I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

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