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Sloatsburg’s Poised for Action on Complete Streets Project

Posted on 31 May 2017 by Editor

Sloatsburg residents and others participate in a recent NYSDOT Region 8 Public Meeting on the Sloatsburg Complete Streets Project.

The Village of Sloatsburg Board and a small gathering of interested residents attended the NYSDOT Region 8 workshop Tuesday evening. Not all questions had solid answers by DOT representative Sandra Jobson, DOT team leader and regional landscape architecture and environmental manager.

NYSDOT Regional Landscape Architecture and Environmental Manager leads a recent Complete Streets Public Workshop. Ms. Jobson met with the Village Board for last item considerations before the board makes its option recommendation.

The NYSDOT Region 8 has set Tuesday, June 20, for the final Complete Streets Public Workshop. Although attendees of Public Workshop II strongly advocated for Option 2, the DOT needs the Village of Sloatsburg to officially recommend an option in order to advance the project. Jobson stressed that the project is a partnership.

The project involves tradeoffs and reaching a balance, Jobson said.

The Village of Sloatsburg Board is expected to make its recommendation known by the end of the week — perhaps as early as Thursday.

Some of the board’s questions about option traffic impacts just don’t have easy or immediate answers — such as what would be the impact of Tuxedo Farms traffic entering the Route 17 traffic stream or the impact of summer season Friday evening traffic surges through the corridor versus regular commuter drive times, or, the future development of the proposed Ramapo Woodmont Hills apartment complex south of Sloatsburg.

One board member had a specific concern regarding Option 2: would local firefighters be able to get to the station to answer calls, if there was a traffic jam?

The Tallman Fire Department fire house is situated along Route 59 exactly where the highway narrows into two lanes with a center turning lane.

NYSDOT traffic models measured peak commuter hour traffic through Sloatsburg to arrive at an additional total commute time through the Village of 78 seconds — though Friday and Saturday, considered off-peak, were not taken into consideration. Additionally, the DOT measured traffic from Seven Lakes Drive through the center Village.

Sandra Jobson was generous with her time and attention to detail and nearly unflappable in the face of many questions. She stressed several times throughout the workshop that the DOT does not have and is not advocating a preferred option but also would not have presented an option that the department didn’t believe would work for the Sloatsburg community.

Jobson also said during the meeting that the DOT could easily have come in, made Route 17 improvements, paved the road, and left, without providing the community with a Road Diet option. But Jobson said she believed the option provided the community with a unique opportunity and would be the best option for safety and traffic calming.

Mayor Carl Wright, along with other board members, wanted clarification on what would happen, say, two years after installation of a Road Diet if the passage through Sloatsburg was a traffic nightmare.

Jobson said that if the DOT determined that option had created a “crippling” impact in the corridor, the agency would be obligated to fix the road where it was not working.

Due to project scheduling and the attempt to complete the project by the end of 2018, an option decision must be made in order for the DOT to lock-in project contracts. As is, certain project considerations could already push the scheduled construction into 2019.

Other Option 1 & 2 project considerations that would have to be articulated after an option recommendation, and may be part of the June 20 Public Workshop III:

— Sidewalks and curbs through the Village … DOT would have to negotiate with some 80 property owners along the route to determine setback space for sidewalks (Option 2 would require less property to implement)

— Option 2 Road Diet would provide more safety and traffic calming through the Village

— Length of Road Diet merge … Option 2 will necessitate a merge lane – can that merge lane begin in Tuxedo near the new Tuxedo Farms entrance … a long merge lane before beginning in Tuxedo might better help modify traffic behavior and ease Sloatsburg merge congestion

— The Flats neighborhood residents’ ability to turn onto Route 17 with Road Diet

— Option 2 would provide for dedicated bus stop in the business center

— On-street parking and bike routes through the center Village … one Village
Trustee mentioned that bicyclists clogging residential streets might turn the Village into a Nyack or Piermont — where residents feel put upon by bike traffic

 

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