Archive for the ‘South Nyack’ Category

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

South Nyack and Thruway Authority agree to collaborate on residents’ behalf

The quaint village resolved to hold the Thruway Authority to its word about working together to minimize the new TZ Bridge project’s impact on residents.

At the onset of their Tuesday village board meeting, trustees convened in executive session with special counsel Dennis E.A. Lynch to discuss the agency’s EDPL non-compliance and lack of efforts to demonstrate compliance. During a brief meeting Friday morning (May 12), trustees unanimously adopted a resolution to resolve issues discussed during that session.

The Rockland County Times reported on March 9, 2017, that neighborhood group Preserve South Nyack (PSN) identified multiple deficiencies in the agency’s EDPL proceedings.

In a resolution dated March 22, 2017, trustees said the Thruway Authority “must demonstrate full compliance with all notice and other provisions of the EDPL . . . “noting the village’s rights under appropriate EDPL provisions. It also said the village notified the agency of its concerns “and needs a more definitive, concrete and direct response and prompt resolution of those concerns . . . “

State representatives met with Christian and village officials on May 4 to discuss concerns and to suggest appropriate ways of moving forward, addressing all impacts and definitively satisfying village concerns and impacts expressed that were not previously discusses or resolved.

In a letter to Christian dated May 8, 2017, Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch confirmed the May 4 meeting and indicated a desire “to help preserve the character of your village and to mitigate the impacts associated with the construction of the new NY Bridge Project.”

Citing the state’s willingness to relocate the path’s terminus in 2015 as “perhaps the most indicative of our enduring commitment to the Village,” Finch said the Thruway Authority reaffirm(s) its commitment to support South Nyack’s goal of achieving fiscal sustainability helping it apply for non-bridge-related grants.

He continued, “In addition to the Community Benefits Program (CBP) study of Interchange 10 mentioned above, the Authority stands ready to work with the Village in its acquisition and redevelopment of surplus property at Interchange 10 once any future reconfiguration of the Interchange is complete.”

If South Nyack determines the agency does not keep its word re the mitigations and its “acquisition and reedevelopment of surplus property at Interchange 10 once any future reconfiguration of the Interchange is complete,” then village officials will consider appropriate action.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times May 18, 2017.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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