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The Ideas That Flood My Thoughts

February 5, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Ann Gallelli

On February 6, 2006 11:39 PM, Just The Facts said:

My suggestion would be to have developers pay for a multi level garage.

The village ought to determine what portion of the lot is acceptable for development. Personally, I think the smallest portion which would raise sufficient funds to pay for a garage. Perhaps the area immediately behind the commercial area (the Pilates studio). The development should be limited to mostly one bedroom and perhaps a few two bedrooms condos. This would reduce burdens on the schools. The tax revenue and sale of property should be able to finance a garage. The development should be profitable for developers as the building would have great views and be within walking distance of the train.

On February 6, 2006 11:35 PM, Just The Facts said:

Danix -

I am not sure what time you park at the station — however, when the village closes the flood prone area off to parking, the lot is COMPLETELTY full by a little past 8. Furthermore, you should note, as Trustees Weigman and Kane pointed out in an earlier post, the lack of rain does not mean no flooding. My car was totally flooded on January 3rd, a day with no precipitation of any kind.

The village’s own study indicates that the lot has an average capacity of approximately 96% — this leaves no margin of area when the flood prone area is closed off. This includes the 40 or so spaces that are on the Ossining side of the salt shed (near boat ramp).

If you think that commuters with paid monthly permits who have no way to park doesn’t cause confussion, then clearly you are mistaken. Liken it to christmas time at the mall, but with the exception that no one is leaving the mall (until 5PM).

Just be happy that you are fortunate to leave Croton at an hour early enough that you don’t face this problem.

On February 6, 2006 5:45 PM, danix said:
  1. If it’s raining, I assume the lot will flood, so I park in a higher ground area. This sometimes requires walking an extra distance.
  2. Most alernate areas are privately owned, and probably too far to walk for those who complained about 1.
  3. I’ve never seen the lot so crowded with traffic due to flooding that people couldn’t figure out where to go.
  4. This is one idea with merit - build a lot on an alternate site and have shuttles. Or better yet, why not erect a parking garage on the existing lot with a bridge to the train platforms? It works for White Plains…


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