A New Organization Combats Old Problems

Here we go again… Since the inception of 10964 in 1977, there have been countless articles about traffic safety concerns, specifically on Route 9W, Route 340 and Oak Tree Road. Over the years, the community has rallied to convince the Town of Orangetown and the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to correct what many feel are dangerous situations.

In 2008, elected officials attended our Annual Palisades Community Center meeting where the most heated topic was traffic. Outspoken and passionate, community members were in agreement; something had to be done about speeding, the lack of a sidewalk on Oak Tree Road, and the dangerous Route 9W/ Oak Tree Road intersection.

For six years, the community hammered away at this list along with other safety concerns. In 2014, working with the Town, the much - needed sidewalk, solar speed feedback signs, pedestrian signs and walkways were finally installed on Oak Tree Road. But the DOT deemed that no safety measures were warranted for the Route 9W/Oak Tree Road intersection, and that the current speed limit was appropriate.

So where are we today? The newly formed Committee to Protect Palisades (CPP) is replacing the Palisades Civic Association and has reopened the movement to correct safety issues along the Route 9W corridor from the New York State border to the entrance of Tallman Mountain State Park.

The concerns/ suggestions/ requests are:

At the Route 9W/ Oak Tree Road intersection:

  1. Move the pedestrian signal poles to SW/ SE corners, and fix the countdown.
  2. Move the No Turn on Red sign onto the wire next to the traffic light.
  3. Narrow the very wide SW shoulder with curbing and create a bus bay.
  4. Correct/ reconfigure the traffic patterns (i.e. Install a turning lane or a delayed green light, keep through traffic out of bus lane etc.)

Route 9W from NYS border to Tallman Mountain State Park:

  1. Lower the speed limit from 45mph to 35mph. The speed limit at the New Jersey border is 35mph and increases to 45mph when crossing into New York State. Motorists travel in excess of 45mph down the steep, curvy hill, speeding past the entrances of the swim club, the pre-school and residential driveways, then floor it to beat the light while passing on the right into the bus lane, which endangers other motorists, pedestrians crossing the intersection and people waiting for the bus. Cars pulling in and out of the Market, leaving the Snedens Pointe development, and pulling out of driveways directly onto Route 9W are also endangered. All is exacerbated in warmer months when pedestrians and throngs of cyclists join the mix.

On April 4, the CPP appeared before the Traffic Advisory Board, and secured a spot on the agenda for the May 9 Town Workshop meeting. If all goes well, a resolution passed by the Town Board will be forwarded to the DOT to petition the DOT to tend to our concerns and requests. We thank all the community members who have attended Town meetings, signed petitions and written e-mails of complaint, but we need your help again!

ATTEND the Town Board Workshop meeting: Tuesday, May 9 at 8:00 pm at Town Hall, 26 Orangeburg Rd. We need a big turn out!

SIGN our petition: visit protectthepalisades.org to learn how.

WRITE a letter of concern/ complaint. E-mail it to: protectpalisades@gmail.com

ATTEND our first Committee to Protect Palisades meeting: Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30 pm at the Palisades Community Center. According to Town police reports for 2016 - 2017, 23 accidents occurred along the part of Route 9W the CPP is concerned with. Seven of them were just this past January and February. This doesn’t include the near misses and traffic infractions all of us see every day.