I recently wrote a letter asking people to provide ideas that would help solve or ameliorate the recent flooding conditions at the commuter parking lot. These frequent flooding incidents at the Croton-Harmon Station parking lot have made it imperative that some plans and actions be put in place very soon. Long term, the Village has some good data on what solutions would require from the engineering studies that preceded the parking lot improvements in the late 90’s. The 2005 Croton-Harmon Railroad Station Study conducted by the Comprehensive Plan Committee also addresses this topic with its geotechnical analysis of the lot.
Short-term, this letter describes a number of “rapid response” approaches that have been suggested to help rail commuters when impending flooding conditions are likely. Additional ideas or variations from you will probably make these approaches even better.
Alerting parkers to potentially bad days by an automated alert message system for phone, email or both (all our local school districts use automated calling and emailing for emergency messages).
Designate alternate parking areas, such as Shop Rite Plaza, Pierre Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton Point Park, along Croton Point Avenue, and even St. Augustine’s church in northern Ossining for the days when the flooding potential exists and can be predicted. These alternate sites would require special arrangements with those land owners, but the Village already did something similar when the lot was regarded and repaved a few years ago.
Direct arriving commuters on those days to the designated alternative parking sites. Provide clear signage to notify drivers of what to do and where to go. Perhaps Croton’s Auxiliary Police could assist with traffic control and flow on such days.
Develop shuttle arrangements for getting commuters to the alternate parking sites to the station on time. Perhaps buses could be used for this or perhaps local taxis could be involved with the Village helping to fund these temporary measures.
This is just one idea, and it is not fool proof, as we know there are days when flooding occurs and cannot be predicted. However, let’s start thinking out of the box in looking for solutions. Parking lot revenue helps every taxpayer in Croton by covering part of our overall operational expenses. Making improvements, even at the cost of losing some revenue, will protect our investment in the long run.