Archive for the ‘South Nyack’ Category

South Nyack continues La Resistance: Parking

Determined to prevent an anticipated barrage of non-resident cars on village streets when the new bridge’s walking and bicycle path opens, South Nyack officials presented several solutions, including help from a smart phone.

“This is a long way from happening and it’s not in cement,” Mayor Bonnie Christian told the packed firehouse meeting room Tuesday night.

She was referring to a parking app that electronically monitors where nonresidents park and for how long, and integrates with police license plate readers to see if a parked car belongs to a resident or to a visitor and if the occupied spot is paid for or not.

What began as a casual study to see who was parking on village streets and why became a race to protect South Nyack from the state’s largest design-build infrastructure project. “The residents are concerned about parking issues arising from the new bridge and shared use path, and the parking committee researched several programs, including Parkmobile,” Christian said.

Three years earlier (fall 2014), the newly-formed parking committee—Trustee Nancy Willen, Police Chief Brent Newbury, Kendol Leader and Bruce Forrester—began noting drivers park in South Nyack and go to other destinations. Specifically, the number of vehicles (230 per day) parked increased during street fairs and other events in Nyack.

On more than one occasion, Leader and Forrester counted on foot “easy 1,500 cars parked in South Nyack for the Nyack street fair, and sometimes up to 2,100 cars,” Willen said. Factor in the Thruway Authority’s 2014 parking demand study for the new path that concluded 59 percent of the 473 peak-hour visitors (within a 15-mile radius in Westchester and Rockland) will arrive by car.

South Nyack is also bracing for the Lower Hudson Transit Link—that will stop within Interchange 10 (South Franklin Extension) in South Nyack and at Artopee Way in Nyack—that will replace Tappan ZEExpress next November. The committee anticipates the buses’ new features like signal priorities and ramp metering will attract riders.

“We don’t know how many people are going to take the bus,” Willen said. Factor in visitors to Pavion Nyack apartments, which allow a certain number of spots per unit. “How are we going to handle all of these cars?”

Because the village didn’t want meters or kiosks, “we (parking committee) looked into different companies. We researched all the different towns and villages in this area and we found many municipalities use parking apps,” Willen said. “You use your cell phone and call in for a parking space and pay for it remotely.”

Non-residents and occasional visitors, and those without the app, can call a toll-free number and pay via credit card. Metro North Railroad stations including Irvington (Westchester County) and Nanuet implement the pay-by-phone system; up to five cars can be attached to one account.

Other village parking options included two-hour limitation and resident permits via radio frequency identification (RFID) like the E-ZPass system, where a reader recognizes the tag on a car and communicates with an electronic toll reader at booths or the new bridge’s overhead gantries.

The cost of updating the Parkmobile (or other vendor’s) app daily with vehicle information would be offset by non-resident parking fees grossed by the village.

Based upon loose calculations, when such a program is implemented, South Nyack could annually gross between $450,000 and $665,000 revenue for daily parking during an eight-hour business day. For special events parking like the Nyack Street Fair, depending upon per-hour charges, the village could annually gross between $100,000 and $265,000.

“The meeting and residents’ responses were positive,” Christian said. Moving forward, the board will discuss the parking app option and hasn’t determined which company will provide the service if/when the idea is approved.

Note: While shared path users can park for free in the 54-spot lot on Thruway Authority property, there will be a time limit for use. South Nyack’s decision does not affect this area.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times October 26, 2017.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

South Nyack Residents concerned about Path

It’s a little past the date for when the first span was to open. A little past. No one’s been counting months? Time marches on, they say. No one is more aware of this than residents of South Nyack — specifically, the group Preserve South Nyack — because the picture above will become the picture below (rendering by landscape architect Kathryn Wolf).

Check out the full story in the July 13, 2017, issue of the Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

The Next Morning and Different Tree Shadows

This morning I returned to see what the path looks like at a different time of day. It was between 11:30 a.m. and noon when I took this photo, closing my eyes and pointing the camera at the sun.

Several weeks after writing about the group Preserve South Nyack’s efforts to preserve the trail I fell sideways off a friend’s front steps. It was early March. I didn’t feel pain or effects immediately, and then one day I was unable to get up from a chair without support from its arms, get into or out of the car, sit or drive comfortably or walk without limping. Yikes! This was a level of fear I’d never known.

Long story short, I’ve been meaning and wanting to walk on the Esposito Trail now that it’s warm, and the trees and plants have blossomed. Physical therapy helped a little; time and cortisone shots, more. My gait is sometimes off, like today, yet not enough to keep me from coming back to see the trail when the sun’s angle casts shadows from the east.

This time I saw bicyclists and a jogger, who waved hello. I also saw a man without a plastic bag enter the trail and walk his dog. There are bags (at least there were yesterday) available at the entrance from Clinton Avenue, and if there none left, then as a dog owner he knows to carry a bag.

A journalist, objectivity is key unless I’m writing an editorial or an opinion piece or sharing my thoughts here. As I did yesterday I looked to the west side of the trail, where the state plans to build a path separated by a granite median. In the above photo, you can see the roadway looks close by. I wonder how much of the trail’s width will be sacrificed for that median.

You guessed it: I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Walking the Esposito Trail with My Thoughts

People were driving sooo slooowly this afternoon. Traffic began right after cars merged from Exit 9 onto the Thruway. The speed (constant braking) allowed me to see how far work on the new maintenance facility has progressed.

The Esposito Trail was pretty and lined with lush greenery. I took notice of the side where the new path will be built and kept thinking it will be gone by this time next year.

There were bicyclists and no other walkers in the late afternoon, and when they rode by I stepped aside. It was quiet and respectful, and I understand why some in the village want to keep it that way: no side path.

Beyond the green (west) I saw fencing and the outline of cars that completed the huge circle and chose to bear right into South Nyack. That’s if you look for the fencing. Hard to imagine what it will be like walking the trail, which will remain cinder, once the new path is built.

The state’s survey closes July 9; the village has been responding and has been making itself heard to the board and via lawn signs posted since January.

There’s still time to complete it and tell project officials what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Exit to Exit: a Whole Lotta Traffic In-between

You can see traffic slogging along westbound per EarthCam® camera at Westch. landing

Memorial Day Weekend. The. Westbound. Span. Should. Have. Been. Opened.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda says nothing about the fact that it hasn’t and isn’t.

During a late afternoon drove to Rockland for copies of this week’s Rockland County Times, which has my story about a woman who advocates for senior housing and safety at home, I got stuck in traffic.

I’m home waiting for a FedEx delivery that requires a signature so I’ll tell you about yesterday’s driving experience.

Silly me. It’s a holiday weekend, and the vehicular madness was well underway by the time I merged onto crowded, no, packed, 287 from the Sprain. Inching from Exit 2 to Exit 1 was a challenge; once on the Thruway, it took about 20 minutes to drive from Exit 9 (Tarrytown) to Exit 10 (South Nyack).

I miss Ramp E, the South Broadway (Route 9) entrance ramp to the bridge in Tarrytown. I really miss it when I’m in that area and have to travel west as its absence continues to cause traffic nightmares.

In its place the state is building a new facility, which drivers and I saw from the other side:

It’s ironic that the new bridge will change nothing about congestion choking 287 on its own and as arteries, like Westchester Avenue and the Sprain, merge onto it. This new bridge will offer cars and trucks — they NEED to be in their own lane! — an easy, breezy 3.1 miles of travel until bridge meets land, and the madness continues in Rockland.

What gives? The westbound span was set to open last December 2016, then in early 2017. Somewhere, sometime, project officials starting saying the bridge, shared use path (including in South Nyack), maintenance facility and new state police barracks will open in 2018.

When the super crane arrived at the project site in October 2014, Governor Cuomo held a press conference and was asked about potential tolls.

“We don’t know how much we will we get from the federal government, how much we will get from the state; there are state loans and grants we can access,” he said, citing the variables. Additional unknowns are the built-in contract incentives for Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to finish the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later.

Spring 2018 is 12 months from now, which is nearly summer if you consider it’s Memorial Day Weekend and an unofficial start of summer.

So crews need to finish the whole shebang before June 21, 2018, the real start of summer. Will the bridge builder be penalized for finishing the project one day later? Stay tuned.

It’s too bad New York State made this into a bridge project instead of sticking to a corridor project. The 287 construction was finished nine months ahead of schedule, and I’m sure (though I don’t remember) traffic “flowing smoothly” four or five years ago.

Several people working on the project told me it would be impossible to widen 287. What was the point of building a bridge between two congested highways without considering the motorists who use them?

I covered the Mass Transit Task Force meetings, where this exchange took place during the final get-together:

“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.”

The governor said on January 29, 2013 — 11 days after the bridge builder received the A-OK to begin — that completion of 287’s reconstruction and the bridge project represent how his administration cut through government dysfunction. It’s all well and good to have plans; however, as my mom’s cousin Helen used to say, “You have to look down the road a piece.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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