Archive for the ‘shared use path’ Tag

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

Thruway Authority replies to Residents’ Concerns

Trail head of walking/bicycle path and Esposito Trail/K. Wolf

With the new bridge and path set to open sometime in 2018, the South Nyack Tappan Zee Bridge Task Force and village board held a workshop last Tuesday prior to the bi-monthly board meeting. Task force member Don McMahon moderated the meeting aimed at clarifying concerns brought to the Thruway Authority regarding traffic, safety, lighting and maintenance.

Now that the exit ramp at Clinton Avenue and South Franklin Street will become a T-intersection — with one stop sign at the ramp’s end to streamline traffic and lessen the occurrence of motorists who make less-than-full stops — some asked how buses will make the sharp turn. As the design was requested by the village and recommended by the state DOT, project officials will check for additional details.

Conceptual rendering of side path and Esposito Trail/K. Wolf

Speed calming measures for bicyclists will be added to the path, and two sets of spring-loaded gates will be added where the path and the Esposito Trail meet the street. Bicyclists will need to dismount to cross Clinton Avenue; pedestrians will have a signal designed in accordance with federal guidelines.

“We send two guys down the trail to do maintenance,” Superintendent of Public Works James Johnson noted, “so if we have spring-loaded gates that we have to hold open, now three of us have to go down there to do maintenance.”

Emergency vehicles will have access from the parking lot and the Esposito Trail/side path. Physical impediments, such as the bollards at the trailhead on Clinton Street, will be removable.

The path will be maintained by the state, and state police will provide security for the path and facilities. Mayor Bonnie Christian said a future meeting with the village police chief, state police and a representative from Governor Cuomo’s office will discuss security and maintenance.

Parking lot at Rockland terminus; stairs lead to path/K. Wolf

Where will small children ride their bicycles? “My kids ride their bikes on that side, and that’s one of my worries,” Kendol Leader said. Project officials agreed parents may want their children to use the trail.

Both the trail and path will measure 10 feet wide save for the first 150 feet from the trailhead at Clinton Avenue and South Franklin Street, where the side path will be eight feet wide as an additional bicycle speed calming measure.

One person commented about feeling “fenced in” when walking the trail after its redesign; another wanted to know about the new lighting. Fences will range from 42 inches to 72 inches, depending upon location, and final dimensions may change slightly.

“Dark sky lighting is significantly different from lighting we’re all used to,” trustee Catherine McCue explained. “The lighting cast is much softer, and the area it’s cast in is much more contained. It’s significantly softer and easier on the eyes.”

McMahon said it’s his understanding that contracts will be completed by summer, and work will commence by early fall, McMahon said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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.

* * * * *

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

Educational Outreach explains the Pulley System

This cool interactive demonstration at Stemtastics in Larchmont showed kids and parents how pulleys work to lift weights like structural steel on bridges.

The I Lift NY super crane’s versabar (system) can lift up to 1700 metric tons (1928 US tons), much-needed strength when lifting pieces of structural steel.

* * * * *

It’s getting closer to when two-way traffic will shift to the the westbound span; however, I’m wondering how the belvederes will be constructed while cars are on that span. Will one lane be closed so crews can safely work on the shared use path? Will the belvederes be completed before traffic moves to the westbound span?

Here’s a view of the westbound span, where workers lower formwork over rebar. Getting there! Photos courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

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

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