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Village Board boldly goes with Complete Streets Option 2

Posted on 01 June 2017 by Editor

The Village of Sloatsburg Board of Trustees has recommended Option 2 “Road Diet” for the NYSDOT Complete Streets Project … a choice that promises high roadway safety and a bolder transformation of the Route 17 corridor through the Village.

Sloatsburg, NY — In what could be a transformative moment, the Village of Sloatsburg Board voted on June 1 for the NYSDOT Complete Streets Project Option 2 that includes a Road Diet. The final vote was 4-0, with Trustee Tom Buckley abstaining from a vote. 

Sloatsburg Mayor Carl Wright called the Complete Streets opportunity historic and said that the board did not take the option vote lightly because the decision affects thousands of people’s lives.

“The Trustees spent a lot of time and listened to a lot of people,” said Mayor Wright. “The overwhelming thinking is that this improvement is going to make Route 17 safer.”

New York Department of Transportation Region 8 Landscape Architecture and Environmental Manager Sandra Jobson stressed at a recent board workshop that it’s not possible at this time to know the total impact of a Sloatsburg Road Diet in the Route 17 corridor. Jobson, however, did reiterate that DOT would not have presented that option to the community if it did not believe a Road Diet would improve road safety and work for the community.

Wright said that Option 2 might be viewed as an experiment, and posed the question that if you have more stores in the Village but people can’t safely get to them, then what have you got? The Mayor said he believed that the minimal increase in drive time through the Village could be well worth a vast improvement in road safety and traffic calming.

The NYSDOT presented Sloatsburg with a transformative opportunity to reclaim its Main Street through the Village by “narrowing” Route 17 from four lanes to two, with a center turn lane — which would be done through roadway painting. The thinking was that the option would provide Sloatsburg with a safe, more charming “Main Street” feel.

Mayor Wright also noted the large community turnout for the Public Workshops provided residents a “dynamic experience” that allowed “the people of Sloatsburg to come in and face their neighbors” and discuss Route 17 improvements that work best for the whole Village.

Wright added that Town of Tuxedo has been inspired by what Sloatsburg is doing and is currently exploring opportunities to make Route 17 improvements through the Town.

A view of Route 17 Option 2 that shows lane configuration. Lane modifications will be made via road paintings, a flexible and cost-effective way of making road improvements.

In the special board session, the board also voted to partner with the state in spending its recently awarded Transportation Alternative Program funds or TAP grant. The Village was awarded some $500,000 by the state for sidewalk and other public access improvements, which will now help with sidewalks and curbs in the north Village.

Deputy Mayor and Village Trustee Peter Akey said that in his view people he represents “overwhelmingly wanted this,” referring to Option 2.

“I want safety and traffic calming along Route 17, and a successful downtown business district,” said Akey, who is the board liaison with the Sloatsburg Revitalization Committee and has been instrumental in advocating for the proposed Village Park in the open space across from the Municipal Building.

Trustee John Bonkoski has indicated his reservations about Option 2 creating traffic problems through the Village, but also wants a safe Route 17 corridor that helps promote a dynamic business environment. Trustee Dan O’Leary has indicated that, together, the proposed Village Park and Route 17 improvements can provide transformative change for the community and help revitalize the central business district.

The NYSDOT Region 8 team will move forward with its Option presentation at the next scheduled Public Workshop set for Tuesday, June 20.


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Kathy Goldman Says:

    A great day for Sloatsburg! The village board voted courageously, in line with the comprehensive plan and with the residents preferred choice from the two DOT workshops. This will complement the revitalization efforts happening in the business district…pedestrian crosswalks…bicycle lanes…traffic calming…..beautification = a vibrant downtown Sloatsburg we can all be proud of!

  2. Jeanmarie byman Says:

    What a crock. Roads in the morning and coming home from work are always crowded. Does anyone recall the big storm from a couple years back? This thoroughfare was a nightmare for days.
    As a resident I see absolutely no great increase in car accidents than what may be typical in any other small town. I don’t see excessive speeds on a daily basis. If you want people to “turn” into our stores ( what stores)? Why is there no commentary about the wonderful eye sore of a strip mall?
    Willing to try this expeiremnt but do not foresee any way way of turning back the clock if it fails.

  3. Editor Says:

    Don’t know that a major Route 17 improvement initiative in partnership with the NYSDOT can be called a crock, especially one that promises to deliver so much to the Village, including sidewalks and curbs to north Sloatsburg. Just one comment ago you were complaining about a “desperately needed” sound proof wall because of area “traffic volume” that has gone up “tremendously.” The Complete Streets Project certainly has trade-offs and must balance the needs of the whole community.

    That said, this is not an exercise in “turning back the clock” … rather an intensive effort to create a more dynamic Village and community going forward that will attract businesses that fit the character and culture of the community, as well as residents that want to live in an interesting Ramapo Mountain location that serves as the southernmost gateway to Harriman State Park.

    If you felt so strongly that Route 17 best serves its purpose and that of the community as is then you should have stepped up early and often to articulate your case. The people who live and work along Route 17 absolutely have a different narrative about cars speeding dangerously through the Village, creating an unpleasant and oftentimes unsafe environment.

    Much appreciation for the participation and comments. They are important and provide a richer picture of Sloatsburg.

  4. Susie McEnery McDonagh Says:

    I am ecstatic about this. Our village couldn’t have gotten a better hand. Now we can and will have more shops, instead of just the few. Let the people who use us as a cut through use the thruway once and for all. I haven’t been here my whole life but I have been here more than half of it. I have also worked on Route 17 watching things go from okay to worse for most of that. I am so thrilled, thank you Sloatsburg Village for finally helping what we need come to fruition. This will make us a place where people will be proud to live and call home.

  5. Roger Donally Says:

    Driving route 17 through Sloatsburg is miserable and full of rundown codemnable homes and a run down strip mall with lots of garbage. Instead of shrinking route 17, bulldoze the shacks, make it 3 lanes each way and then see how beautiful the corridor is.

  6. Editor Says:

    The Village and New York State recognize and are obligated to conform to laws protecting private property + there’s the 5th Amendment, which might pose a considerable obstacle.

    The Strip Mall is a malignant reminder of 1970s sprawl and poor community design … call it one of Sloatsburg’s original sins. Or the gift that keeps giving.

  7. Brian C Says:

    great news. i wish dunkin’ donuts would take over that empty space on the end of the strip mall, break thru the wall, expand their kitchen/tables area and offer ice cream again, maybe that would offset the higher rent 🙂 then the strip mall would be full! can’t wait to see the burg full of more business and park-using, sidewalk-using families!

  8. Kim Kafka Says:

    Where do all of you live? I want to travel your street @ 40mph on a road designed for 15-20 mph! that is what Mill Street, Ballard & Acedemy get when the main road (Rt 17) is backed up……. Try pulling out of your driveway at 6 am wait 20 min then get high beams flashed at you simply because your doing 20 mph for 600 ft…..!!!!!!!

  9. Steve smith Says:

    Just wait till tuxedo farms populates up, it’ll be worse than back to square one. What a monstrosity.

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