Archive for the ‘shared use path’ Category

Happy Anniversary: Four Years of Blogging

Spring after the project started: “Figure Sitting at RiverWalk Park”/© Janie Rosman 2013

Four years ago I began writing this blog about what seemed at the time long-range plans that would “some day” materialize. And now, “some day” is here.

Six hundred ninety-three posts — in addition to countless newspaper and magazine articles — later, I still have mixed feelings about the project. It’s exciting to watch from afar and to cover, and it was an adventure to stand on the new westbound span last December. This area will change forever and will have a safer, more efficient crossing, both badly needed.

Aerial view of new/current spans/(Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo)

However, unless the highway on both sides of the river is also revamped, I foresee gridlock as more cars pour off the bridge in both Westchester and Rockland.

I’m still wondering about the shared use path. Without it, the state would have a majestic new bridge minus the added situations the path is creating. Three years ago I wrote that the belevederes, while interesting, gave little thought to practicality or to those who would use the path. Perhaps there’s still time to add shade.

Educational outreach’s fourth year at White Plains Engineering Expo/© Janie Rosman 2017

One official associated with the project joked last year the state could make money by selling soda, iced tea and water at the viewing areas because people may forget to bring hydration. That’s a good idea: remember, you read it here.

The Peregrine falcons are popular, and everyone wants to know where they are. Type “peregrine” into the search box to bring up falcon-related posts. This photo of their nesting box was taken about two years ago, when the bridge was a skeleton in the river.

Secret revealed! When in New York, they live here on the bridge’s northwest side./NYSTA

Less than eight weeks before the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge opened, my parents got married. Directions to Lake Placid — where they honeymooned — from New York and New Jersey begin with “Take the NY State Thruway (I-87) north . . .” The new bridge was to open in two months; the Taconic State Parkway was “it” back then, mom said.

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This year part of “some day” comes to fruition: two-way traffic will switch to the new westbound span, and the current bridge will be dismantled so the eastbound span can be completed and connected to the landings. They said everything that’s supposed to be completed by 2018 will be finished. So be it!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

ICYMI: Rockland SUP plans may face legal snag

Snowy Eesposito Trail/Credit Jess Hans Smolin

When one door closes, the saying goes, another one opens. What happens if the closing door — all but shut — is suddenly stopped by a situation that metaphorically says, “Not so fast!”

With the bridge project progressing steadily, and final designs for the walking/bicycle path due in June, it seems unlikely anything would intercept construction plans — until now.

The group Preserve South Nyack contests plans to intersect the Esposito Trail with the new bridge’s walking/bicycle path and whether or not the Thruway Authority followed legal protocol to acquire 0.81 acres next to the trail for a bicycle path.

PSN identified multiple deficiencies in the agency’s eminent domain proceedings, which include neglecting to serve the village (as condemnee) proper notice. The condemning authority (Thruway Authority) has to conduct a public hearing to determine if the greater public purpose being served by eminent domain.

Notice is to be published five times prior to a meeting and one or two times after the meeting within 90 days of its occurrence.

Drawing/Credit Reese Leader, 6, regular trail user and visitor

Members maintain the agency neglected to notify residents with the appropriate number of public notices prior to the March 2016 meeting — and neglected to notify the village either in person or by certified mail — per Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) Section 202, which governs the notice for the hearing and requirements to be met.

An inadvertent failure to meet the requirements of Section 202 is not jurisdictional. Further, the agency neglected to follow protocol re EDPL Section 204(C)3, which mandates it notify the village of findings and determination after a public hearing — March 2016 — in person or by certified mail.

PSN’s position is the 30 day Statue of Limitations doesn’t start until after the notice is delivered by certified mail or in person.

To date the Thruway Authority has not provided proof of compliance with EDPL Section 204. If this defect is deemed jurisdictional in court, then South Nyack can challenge the ruling. If not, then the village cannot challenge it. This specific issue has no court precedent.

That the Thruway Authority published 91 days after the meeting may hold less material or jurisdictional importance as its failure to notify the village of a proposed condemnation via personal delivery or certified mail.

Esposito Trail/Credit Kristy Leader

Months earlier, Village Trustee Andrew Goodwillie proposed a plan that would end that shared use path (SUP) at the Exit 10 on-ramp at South Broadway, which will close as part of the Concept F plans.

Proponents maintain this viable alternative will keep bicyclists off South Franklin Street, which is narrower than South Broadway, leaving the Esposito Trail intact for residents.

The Thruway Authority would save money as it would neither need to build a trailhead at Clinton Avenue and South Franklin Street nor make improvements alongside the trail, and no easement would be needed from the village.

PSN feels moving the SUP entrance would also negate the need to build a ramp to the trail and would afford police security from nearby Village Hall.

Dennis E.A. Lynch, representing South Nyack, explained if the village owns the property (Esposito Trail), then its officials can pass legislation to make it parkland. It can also be deemed parkland via deed or use.

South Nyack is awaiting results of a title research/confirmation that it owns the property (0.81 acres of Esposito Trail) and a legal opinion as to its rights and responsibilities to then determine what it can do regarding the Thruway Authority’s actions. When and if the deficiency is corrected, then the village will take appropriate action in the best interest of its residents.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times March 9, 2017.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Another gantry added to the Westbound Span

hidden-tunnel

Took a blog hiatus and am back! Here’s where I temporarily disappeared.

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Last week crews installed the second of eight overhead gantries on the Rockland side of the westbound span.  Ten gantries will be installed on the eastbound span, 18 in all.

Meantime, here are sights from en route to the edge of the westbound span.

sup-abutment

We passed the shared use path abutment on the Westchester landing . . .

expansion-joint

. . . and workers installing an expansion joint connecting road deck panels.

location-marking

This is a location marker for guess which belvedere of the shared use path?

sup-wall-structure

Terrific view of the Rockland shoreline backdrops steel rebar structure for beginnings of what will be a concrete retaining wall for the shared use path.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Renderings for Walking/Bicycle Path Terminus

rendering

This morning the store was empty. Its parking lot offered numerous spaces from which to choose, and there was no line waiting to pay for items.

“You should have been here yesterday,” the cashier said as she rang up my purchase. “The lines were around the store, and people were complaining that they had no place to park.”

Yesterday I had no interest in crowded places and worked on an article that will post next week. My neighborhood was quiet, the roads were as empty as the store I went to this morning, and it felt like everything stopped.

The previous weeks were busy, and I missed the meeting in South Nyack during which the village and the Thruway Authority presented renderings for the shared use path terminus in Rockland that will open in 2018.

Good news continues for the village. To recap:

In spring 2015 the state agreed to relocate the Rockland terminus (landing point) away from residential village streets to Thruway property near Exit 10 with adjacent parking.

The above rendering, courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority, is one of four presented during the November 15 meeting.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Girder Assemblies? Check. Stay Cables? Check.

sign

Comic relief passed me in another lane today as I wondered why there was traffic on Saturday afternoon. I was in the thick of it going to Rockland and watched cars backed up to nearly White Plains on the way back.

traffic

More than 12 of the 192 stay cables, and final steel girder assemblies for the Rockland-to-Westchester span, were installed. Remaining girder assemblies for the span set to open in 2017 will be installed in the next few weeks, per a recent press release.

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On another note: those six planned belvederes/viewing areas on the shared use path are interesting; however, they don’t take into account the sun and wind. I wish they’d been planned with more practicality in mind.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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