Can You Hear Me Now?

Pretty much ANYONE living or driving within the vicinity of the 9W/Oak Tree Road intersection has at some time experienced Palisades’ notorious cellular DEAD ZONE. From the 9W Market to the PIP exit #4, and Oak Tree Road from the Community Center to the Presbyterian Church, cell phone reception is either “terrible” or simply non-existent.

While definitely an inconvenience, it could also be deadly at our increasingly dangerous 9W/Oak Tree Rd intersection, with cars, bicyclist and tractor trailers blowing through the red light. In the event of an accident, not having reception delays crucial emergency aid. Land line telephones remain a necessity for those living within this zone.

Despite three nearby transmission towers – in Alpine, at the Rt. 340 American Legion and at the Skae Building on 9W– complaints of poor or no reception are growing. These properties are paid upward of $60K/ year by cell tower companies for use of the land.

After speaking with neighbors throughout the area as well as a few of the scientists at Columbia, I approached the Director of Lamont and asked if a cell tower on the property could be an option. Much to my surprise (and delight) it turns out that this has been a topic of discussion among the Lamont administration very recently and they plan to continue looking into its viability. There are several sites on the 100 acre property which could make a tower practically invisible from view.

The new wires being replaced throughout Palisades may help with Optimum Internet - but it won't solve the wireless phone service. It may help Optonline internet users' issues, but so many have already switched to FIOS, it may be too little, too late. If you have cell reception issues, stay tuned; we will need community support to pursue a solution to this growing problem.